TOKYO, Aug 4 – Japan’s Nippon Steel Corp said on Tuesday it will appeal a South Korean court ruling that allows for the company’s assets in that country to be seized and sold as compensation for forced wartime labour.
The ruling followed a South Korean Supreme Court decision in 2018 that Nippon Steel should pay 100 million won ($83,836.35) to each of four South Koreans as compensation for forced labor during World War II.
A lower court there approved in 2019 the seizure of part of the domestic assets of Nippon Steel, and Yonhap News Agency said the Daegu District Court in June set a Tuesday deadline for the process to begin.
“We will continue to take appropriate measures based on the diplomatic negotiations between the two nations and other situations,” a Nippon Steel spokeswoman said on Tuesday. “We will immediately make an appeal against procedures for seizure of assets which took effect at midnight on Aug. 4.”
At stake are 81,075 shares Nippon Steel holds in PNR, a Korea-based joint venture with steelmaker POSCO, worth about 400 million won by face value, according to Yonhap.
Nippon Steel has until the end of Sunday to file the appeal before, Yonhap said.
Japan has held that all matters concerning wartime reparations must be settled under a 1965 treaty that normalised relations between the countries. ($1 = 1,192.8600 won) (Reporting by Yuka Obayashi and Rocky Swift in Tokyo; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)