The Supreme Court of the Republic of Korea has issued final and binding judgments ordering Japanese shipbuilder Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) to compensate South Koreans who were forced to work for the MHI predecessor during the World War II.
The court upheld existing Korean judgments which ordered MHI to pay compensation to plaintiffs for lawsuits filed in Korea in May 2000 and in October 2012.
In two separate rulings, the court ordered Mitsubishi to pay five women between KRW 100 – 150 million (USD 89,000 -133,000) respectively, and KRW 80 million to each of six men who said they were subject to forced labor at a Mitsubishi shipyard and machine tool factory in 1944, according to the New York Times.
“These rulings are deeply regrettable, as they violate the Agreement on the Settlement of Problems concerning Property and Claims and on Economic Cooperation between Japan and the Republic of Korea concluded in June 1965 and are contrary to the view of the Japanese government and the final and binding judgments of the Supreme Court of Japan,” MHI said.
The agreement stipulates that issues concerning property, rights and interests of signatory countries and their nationals (including judicial persons) as well as concerning claims between the countries and their nationals are “settled completely and finally,” and no contention shall be made related thereto.
“Going forward, MHI will take appropriate measures while maintaining communication with the Japanese government about this issue,” MHI added.
South Korea was a Japanese colony since 1910 until Japan’s 1945 surrender in WWII.