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Korean forced labor victims seek court seizure of Mitsubishi assets

Four Korean victims of wartime forced labor are seeking seizure of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd.'s local assets as the company refuses to comply with the Supreme Court ruling that ordered the firm to compensate them.

The plaintiffs, including 88-year-old Yang Geum-deuk, on Thursday filed the request with the Seoul Central District Court to seize several Mitsubishi trademarks and patents, according to a civic group that represents the victims.

If approved by the court, the Japanese company will be forbidden from selling or transferring the assets. 


South Korea's Supreme Court ruled on Nov. 29 last year that Mitsubishi must award up to 120 million won ($106,300) each to 12 forced labor victims and their family members in one of two landmark rulings on forced labor cases.

The top court also upheld a similar appellate ruling in October against Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp.

The Korean victims offered to work out the issue through dialogue but the company did not accept their offer.

The court rulings have further soured the frayed ties between Seoul and Tokyo.

Korea was under Japan's brutal colonial rule from 1910-45.

South Korea says Japanese leaders do not sincerely repent for the country's past wrongdoings and refuse to take full legal responsibility. Japan claims all reparation issues were settled in the 1965 treaty that normalized their diplomatic ties. (Yonhap)