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S. Korean plaintiffs' lawyers to demand talks with Japanese firm over forced labor compensation

All News 16:36 January 05, 2019

TOKYO, Jan. 5 (Yonhap) -- Lawyers for South Korean victims of forced labor plan to request consultations with a Japanese firm over a set of issues related to compensation and the firm's apology, Japan's Kyodo News reported Saturday.

Last year, South Korea's Supreme Court ruled in favor of the South Korean victims forced into hard labor by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. during Tokyo's 1910-45 colonial rule of the peninsula.

It recognized the victims' individual rights to claim damages, though Tokyo claims that all reparation-related issues were settled under a government-to-government pact with Seoul in 1965 that normalized bilateral ties.

The lawyers plan to make the request this month for talks with the Japanese firm and demand it make a response by the end of next month, according to Kyodo.

Should the firm fail to respond sincerely, the lawyers would seek a legal process to seize its assets based on the court ruling.

The forced labor issue has added to tensions in the Seoul-Tokyo relationship that has long been beset by historical and territorial feuds.

Tensions recently flared again after Japan claimed last month that a South Korean destroyer directed fire-control radar at its patrol aircraft in what it calls a "dangerous" act. Seoul rejected the claim, saying the warship was focused on a humanitarian mission to rescue a North Korean ship in distress and that it did not target the plane.

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