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  • Korean group that supports former forced laborers "Korea's foreign ministry obstructs forced execution against Japanese companies" = Korean coverage
Korean group that supports former forced laborers "Korea's foreign ministry obstructs forced execution against Japanese companies" = Korean coverage
The South Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs has submitted a written opinion to the South Korean Supreme Court regarding the legal procedure for forcibly selling the properties of Japanese war criminal companies.

The Gwangju Jeonnam branch of the South Korean incorporated association Citizens' Association for Forced Mobilization under the Japanese Empire and the Gwangju Jeonnam Branch of the Association of Lawyers for a Democratic Society held a press conference at the Gwangju City Council, stating, The written opinion requests that the Supreme Court's decision be postponed," he said.

On July 26th, the South Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that the 2nd and 3rd civil divisions of the South Korean Supreme Court, which is currently deliberating the special liquidation order of trademark rights and patent rights of Mr. Yang Geum-deok and Mr. Kim Sung-joo, former forced laborers of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. submitted comments to each. Although the specific content of the written opinion has not been confirmed, the Citizen's Association learned about the purpose of the written opinion based on interviews with officials from the South Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs on July 28th.

At the time, an official from South Korea's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said, "I think Japan will retaliate if the assets of Japanese companies are actually liquidated." The Citizens' Association said, "Such a statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of South Korea is an act that throws ashes into the realization of the grave rights of victims of the Labor Volunteer Corps and is a challenge to the judicial system", he pointed out. He continued, "The South Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs should immediately withdraw the submitted opinion and sincerely apologize to the victims who have been fighting all their lives", he requested.

Earlier, in 2018, the South Korean Supreme Court ordered Japanese war criminals, including Nippon Steel and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, to compensate former forced laborers. However, these companies did not implement the ruling, and instead the Japanese government imposed export control measures in 2019. The Japanese government has announced that it will consider strong retaliatory measures if Mitsubishi Heavy Industries' assets in South Korea are forced to sell due to non-fulfillment of liability.

Currently, the Yoon Seo-gyul government is organizing and running a public-private council to seek solutions to the issue of compensation for former forced laborers in order to restore relations with Japan. However, the victims and victims' support groups did not participate in the private-public council, arguing that "Japanese companies' apologies and compensation should come first."

Published : 2022/08/06 09:25 KST



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