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Japan's Mitsubishi Heavy appeals S. Korean court's asset seizure order

Jan. 4, 2021 - 10:25 By Yonhap
This file photo shows the logo of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries at its headquarters in Tokyo. (Yonhap)
Japan's Mitsubishi Heavy Industries has appealed a South Korean court's order to seize its assets held in South Korea soon after the relevant legal process to compensate victims of Japan's wartime forced labor took effect late last month, judicial officials said Monday.

The public notifications to Mitsubishi Heavy went into force last Tuesday and Wednesday, after the company failed to carry out a 2018 order by the Supreme Court to compensate five plaintiffs, including a 91-year-old victim.

The notification by the district court in the country's central city of Daejeon is a procedure employed when a defendant refuses to receive court documents necessary for trial proceedings despite the need to move the pending case forward.

According to the officials, Mitsubishi lodged immediate appeals against a seizure order for four patent rights last Wednesday and against another seizure order for two patent rights and two trademark rights last Thursday. Both appeals were filed with the Daejeon District Court one day after the orders took effect.

The appeals are interpreted as the Japanese company's willingness to go through all possible legal proceedings in connection with court orders on asset seizure and sale.

Mitsubishi has reportedly told Japanese media that it believed South Koreans cannot make any compensation claims as the reparation issue was fully and finally settled by a treaty signed between the two nations in 1965.

The public notifications were based on the 2018 Supreme Court ruling that ordered the company to give 100-150 million won ($91,116-136,674) to each of the plaintiffs related to the forced labor during Japan's 1910-45 colonization of the Korean Peninsula.

After Mitsubishi refused to comply with the ruling, the victims asked the Daejeon court in March 2019 to seize the company's assets in South Korea and dispose of them.

The amount of claim sought by four plaintiffs, excluding one who died during the legal proceedings, is 804 million won. (Yonhap)