Image: Yonhap News
South Korea will begin next week the legal process to liquidate local assets of a Japanese company that has ignored calls to compensate victims of its forced labor during World War II.
But even with the courts backing them, it won't be easy for the victims and their families to get the money or closure they deserve, as our Julie Sohn explains.
It has been nearly two years since the South Korean Supreme Court ordered Nippon Steel to pay 100 million won each to Korean victims of wartime forced labor, but the company is still refusing to comply.
So a court in June decided to employ "service of process" before seizing the assets of PNR, one of Nippon's local joint ventures.
In this case, a notice of liquidation was posted on the court's website and will be considered served on August 4.
But the victims' lawyer, Lim Jae-sung, says it's unlikely they will get the compensation they are due.
He says the process has a long way to go.
"We simplified the interrogation procedure in which the defendant only needs to submit a statement of opinion instead of having to attend a court meeting in person. But even this notice has not been delivered to Nippon Steel due to interference by the Japanese Foreign Ministry."
The Japanese government, instead, is reportedly considering a second round of retaliatory measures against South Korea in the event that the Japanese firm's assets are liquidated, including an option to tighten visa requirements for its Asian neighbor and temporarily recalling its ambassador to Seoul.
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