The Daily Manila Shimbun


S. Korean court orders Mitsubishi Heavy to compensate for wartime labor

August 8, 2017

GWANGJU, SOUTH KOREA- Gwangju District Court ordered Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. on Tuesday to pay damages to a South Korean woman who was recruited to work for the Japanese company during World War II and the family of a former worker, also a woman, now deceased.

According to the ruling, Mitsubishi Heavy was ordered to pay 120 million won in compensation to the former worker at the firm's munitions plant in Nagoya, central Japan, and some 3,256,000 won to the other woman's family.

A support group said the two women were forced to work without pay at the plant around May 1944. Legal proceedings in the case were instituted in 2015.

The district court in Gwangju, southwestern South Korea, is set to rule on Friday in a similar damages suit brought against Mitsubishi Heavy over alleged forced labor.

In South Korea, "The Battleship Island," a movie about Korean workers who attempted to escape from forced labor in southwestern Japan during World War II made its box-office debut in late July.

South Korean media reported that court rulings are being handed down one after another amid growing public interest in the issue.

In May 2012, South Korea's Supreme Court issued a ruling recognizing the right of wartime forced laborers to sue their former employers for withheld wages and compensation. The right was not invalidated by a treaty that was concluded at the time of the 1965 normalization of diplomatic relations between Japan and South Korea, the top court said. Jiji Press