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Japanese firm appeals S. Korean court's compensation order for wartime victims

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. Monday appealed a South Korean court's ruling against the Japanese firm to compensate one family and four former South Korean employees for forcing them into labor decades ago when Korea was under Japan's colonial rule, court officials said. 

In November 2013, the Gwangju District Court ordered the firm to pay a combined 680 million won (US$613,000) to four women and a fifth plaintiff whose two deceased family members were forced into labor during the 1910-45 colonial rule.

In June, the Gwangju High Court upheld the lower court ruling and ordered the Japanese company to pay three women 120 million won each, another victim 100 million won, and the fifth plaintiff 102 million won.

Legal representatives of Japanese firm submitted the request for an appeal with the Gwangju High Court, the officials said, adding that the case will go into the Supreme Court. 

The issue of forced labor is becoming increasingly urgent as most surviving victims are well over 80 years old and may die before they receive compensation or an apology from the Japanese firms.

The Japanese government as well as the companies that used forced laborers, however, have refused to pay any compensation, saying all issues regarding its colonial rule, including sex slavery and monetary reparations, were covered by a 1965 package. (Yonhap)

  

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