S. Korea Labor Suit Plaintiffs to Seek Sale of Nippon Steel Assets


Tokyo, Feb. 15 (Jiji Press)--A lawyer for South Korean plaintiffs in a wartime labor lawsuit filed against Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp. <5401> said Friday that they will file for a local court order for the sale of Nippon Steel assets already seized by the plaintiffs' side.

The lawyer made the remark in talks with reporters in Tokyo, after South Korea's supreme court ordered the major Japanese steelmaker on Oct. 30 last year to pay compensation to the plaintiffs, who were requisitioned to work for a predecessor of the firm in Japan during World War II, when the Korean Peninsula was under Japan's colonial rule.

The plaintiffs' side seized Nippon Steel's holdings of shares in Posco-Nippon Steel RHF Joint Venture Co. (PNR), which was set up by Nippon Steel and major South Korean steelmaker Posco, after Nippon Steel rejected talks with the plaintiffs following the top court ruling.

Earlier on Friday, the plaintiffs' side visited Nippon Steel's headquarters in Tokyo's Chiyoda Ward to make a fresh request for talks between the two sides. But the company again refused to accept the request.

The Japanese government, which sticks to the position that the issue of wartime compensation has been settled under a related 1965 bilateral agreement, is calling on the South Korean government to hold discussions under the pact. But Seoul has made no response.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press