See More on Facebook

Diplomacy

Mitsubishi loses WWII Korean court case

Supreme Court orders Mitsubishi to compensate Korean victims of wartime forced labor.


Written by

Updated: November 29, 2018

South Korea’s Supreme Court confirmed two appellate court rulings on Thursday that ordered a Japanese company to compensate Koreans for forced labor during World War II.

The four-judge bench handed down the decisions on two damages suits against Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd.

It upheld two rulings — one that ordered Mitsubishi to award 100-120 million won (US$89,000-109,000) each to four women, including 87-year-old Yang Geum-duk, and a victim’s family member, and the other that ordered the company to pay 80 million won each to six other forced labor victims.

The rulings come about a month after the top court upheld a 2013 appellate ruling that ordered Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp. to pay each Korean plaintiff 100 million won in compensation.

The Oct. 30 ruling further soured the frayed ties between Seoul and Tokyo.

The top court agreed with last month’s decision that the 1965 treaty signed between South Korea and Japan to settle colonial-era issues does not terminate individuals’ rights to claim damages.

The female victims and family filed the damages suit in 2012 for working without pay at a Mitsubishi aircraft plant in Nagoya in 1944.

They claim they were tricked by their school headmaster into believing that they would earn lots of money if they enlist in the Korean Women’s Volunteer Labor Corps.

They had sued the Japanese company in Japan, but the highest court ruled in favor of Mitsubishi in 2008. They lodged a suit in Korea, winning the appeal in 2015 that ordered Mitsubishi to pay a total of 562 million won, around 100 million won each.

The six other victims, including a 72-year-old surnamed Park, filed for damages against Mitsubishi for toiling without pay at Mitsubishi’s Hiroshima munitions and shipbuilding plant in 1944.

Korea was under Japan’s brutal colonial rule from 1910-45.

South Korea says Japanese leaders do not sincerely repent for the past wrongdoings and refuse to take full legal responsibility.

Japan claims all reparation issues have been settled in the 1965 treaty that normalized their diplomatic ties.

Kim Seong-ju, one of the volunteer labor group plaintiffs, cried as she spoke in the press conference held earlier by civic groups that advocate for wartime victims.

“I have harbored this grudge for all my life, and I’m still living as if all my bones protrude. That’s the weight of my grudges,” the 90 year-old said.



Enjoyed this story? Share it.


The Korea Herald
About the Author: The Korea Herald is the nation’s largest English-language daily and the country’s sole member of the Asia News Network.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia


Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.



By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here

Diplomacy

New Delhi slams Islamabad for unilaterally stopping postal services

Prasad further said that Pakistan ‘without any prior notice or information has stopped sending postal department’s letter to India’. Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Monday said that Pakistan had stopped postal service from India for the last two months and slammed the move saying that it was in contravention of international norms. “For the last two months, Pakistan has stopped postal service from India. It’s directly in contravention of the World Postal Union’s norms,” Prasad told reporters. “But Pakistan is Pakistan,” Prasad, who is the Minister for Communications and IT, added. He said that Pakistan “without any prior notice or information has stopped sending postal department’s letter to India”. Pakistan has upped the ante against India ever since Parliament withdrew special category status to Jammu and Kashmir by revoking Article 370 of its Constitution.


By Dawn
October 22, 2019

Diplomacy

Beijing sounds warning against foreign interference at annual security forum

China’s Defence Minister Wei Fenghe delivers a speech at the Xiangshan Forum in Beijing, China. China’s Defence Minister Wei Fenghe sounded a thinly veiled warning against the United States at a security conference in Beijing, saying that interfering in the internal affairs of others and inciting colour revolutions have led to wars and turbulence in various regions in the world. Such “reckless interference” would not foster harmonious relations, said General Wei on Monday (Oct 21) in his speech to open the conference. Beijing has blamed foreign countries, including the US, for inciting the unrest that has convulsed Hong Kong for five months. It has also


By The Straits Times
October 22, 2019

Diplomacy

Border clash with India leaves 7 dead in Pakistan

Kashmir is becoming an untenable boiling point. At least six civilians and a Pakistani soldier were killed as Indian troops resorted to “indiscriminate and ruthless” shelling from across the Line of Control (LoC) in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), officials said on Sunday. Officials said that nine other civilians were injured, adding that this was the highest death toll in 2019 in a single day of Indian shelling from across the dividing line. Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) notified through a tweet that one soldier had been martyred in the exchange of fire while two others were injured. ISPR added that in response to unprovoked ceasefire violations by India in Jura, Shahkot and Nauseri sectors, nine Indian soldiers were killed while several ot


By Dawn
October 21, 2019

Diplomacy

Chinese TV drama to air on Kenya’s national television

China has expanded aggressively into Africa. Kenya Broadcasting Corporation on Saturday signed a partnership agreement with China’s National Radio and Television Administration that will see the national broadcaster air a popular Chinese TV drama, Feather Flies to the Sky. The drama is a 55-episode series that will be aired by national broadcaster Channel one TV until June next year. Speaking during the launch event in Nairobi, Kenya, Dr Naim Bilal, the managing director of Kenya Broadcasting Corporation, said the TV series has been dubbed in Standard Kiswahili, one of the official languages in Kenya, to make it appealing to many people. “We have reviewed the series, looked at its quality and content as well as the quality of the language, and we are fully satisfied that it’s a drama that is going to entertain Kenyans,” Bilal said. He sa


By China Daily
October 21, 2019

Diplomacy

‘History will take note of those who ridiculed removal of Article 370’: PM Modi in Maharashtra

PM Modi also expressed confidence that the BJP will break all victory records in the October 21 Maharashtra Assembly elections. Prime Minister on Thursday once again lashed out at the opposition saying that history will take note of those who mocked the abrogation of Article 370, that gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir. “Whenever Article 370 will be discussed in history, — the decision that was taken in the interest of the country — the people who opposed and ridiculed will be remembered,” PM Modi said while addressing a poll rally in Maharashtra’s Parli. He said the next week’s state Assembly elections were a battle between BJP’s “karyashakti” (power of development) and opposition’s “swarth shakti” (selfishness). Further targeting the Congress and NCP leaders, he wondered if “frustrated and dejected” people could do anything good for people. “A Congress


By The Statesman
October 18, 2019

Diplomacy

Malaysia’s PM Mahathir says rail line RTS linking Johor Baru to Singapore to proceed

The rail line has been on again and off again. Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad on Thursday (Oct 17) said Malaysia will proceed with the 4km Johor Baru to Singapore rail line. His comments about the Rapid Transit System (RTS) rail link followed that of Malaysian Transport Minister Anthony Loke on Tuesday that details of the project will be decided by the Malaysian Cabinet within two weeks. Tun Dr Mahathir said when asked by reporters on Thursday: “We will proceed with the RTS but we will take some time.” Asked if this meant the Malaysian government had resolved 


By The Straits Times
October 18, 2019