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Court rules against forced Korean labor victim in suit against Japan's Mitsubishi Materials

All News 11:24 August 11, 2021

SEOUL, Aug. 11 (Yonhap) -- A South Korean court on Wednesday ruled against a victim of forced wartime labor in Japan in a damages suit launched against Japan's Mitsubishi Materials Corp.

The Seoul Central District Court ruled against the surviving family of the late victim, surnamed Lee, who demanded 100 million won (US$87,000) from Mitsubishi Materials for the late Lee's forced labor in Japanese coal mines from 1941 to 1945.

Lee claimed that he was forced to work in Japanese coal mines during those five years. The surviving family filed a damages suit against the company in February 2017.

The court ruling is in contrast to a landmark October 2018 ruling from the Supreme Court, which upheld an appeals court ruling in 2013 that ordered Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp. to pay each of four Korean plaintiffs 100 million won in compensation for their wartime forced labor and unpaid work.

The latest ruling came after a Seoul court ruling in June, which rejected a damages suit launched by 85 South Korean victims and their families against 16 Japanese companies, ruling that the plaintiffs don't have litigation rights. The victims have filed an appeal.

Japan has claimed that all colonial-era issues, including individual compensation, were resolved with the two country's bilateral 1965 treaty.

In this file photo, members of a civic group supporting victims of wartime forced labor in Japan rally in front of the Seoul Central District Court on June 14, 2021, to denounce the court's dismissal on June 7 of a damages suit launched by 85 South Korean victims of wartime forced labor in Japan and their families against 16 Japanese companies. (Yonhap)


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