SEOUL (Reuters) – South Koreans forced to work for Japanese occupiers will seek a court order to forcibly liquidate Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries’ assets to compensate them, their lawyers said on Tuesday, risking more Japanese anger over the issue.
The question of compensation for South Koreans for labor during Japan’s 1910-45 occupation of the Korean peninsula has soured the U.S. allies’ relations, which took a turn for the worse this month when Japan restricted exports of high-tech material to South Korea.
Export - Restrictions - Supplies - Memory - Chips
The export restrictions threaten global supplies of memory chips and smartphones.
Japan has denied that the dispute over compensation for laborers is behind the export curbs, even though a Japanese government minister this month cited broken trust with South Korea over the labor dispute in announcing the export restrictions.
Japan - Management - Items - South - Korea
Instead, Japan has cited “inadequate management” of sensitive items exported to South Korea, with Japanese media reporting that quantities of one of the materials had been shipped to North Korea.
South Korea denies that. The Japanese government has said it had not said any materials were going to North Korea.
Court - Mitsubishi - Heavy - Assets - South
A South Korean court ruling forcing Mitsubishi Heavy to liquidate its assets in South Korea to compensate workers would put an additional strain on relations, likely making a resolution of the dispute over exports even more difficult.
South Korea’s Supreme Court last year ordered the Japanese company to compensate 10 forced labor victims, drawing a strong...
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