Seoul Can't Intervene in Sale of Seized Japanese Assets: Kang

Politics

Seoul, Feb. 6 (Jiji Press)--The South Korean government cannot step into the process of liquidating seized assets of Japanese companies following court rulings over wartime labor compensation, Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha said Thursday.

The asset sale is part of judicial procedures, Kang said at a press conference in Seoul. It is also impossible for the government to delay or extend the period of the sale, she went on to say.

In 2018, South Korea's Supreme Court ordered Nippon Steel Corp. <5401> and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. <7011> in separate lawsuits to pay compensation for labor provided by "requisitioned" Koreans during World War II. Plaintiffs expect the seized assets to be sold off by the end of June.

The Japanese government reacted harshly to the rulings, claiming all wartime compensation issues were resolved when Japan and South Korea, which had been under Japanese colonial rule until the end of the war, normalized their diplomatic ties in 1965.

Kan reiterated Seoul's stance on the World War II labor issue to seek the Japanese side's compromise ahead of the sale, observers said.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press