Forced labor victims file lawsuit to collect compensation from Mitsubishi’s Korean firm

-- Two victims of wartime forced labor by Japan have filed a lawsuit seeking to collect compensation from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries' affiliate in South Korea, their legal representatives said Thursday.

One surviving victim and bereaved family members of the other victim lodged the suit against Mitsubishi on Wednesday, asking the Seoul Central District Court to allow them to collect compensation from MH Power Systems Korea, a sub-subsidiary of the Japanese firm.

They were among a group of forced labor victims who won the South Korean Supreme Court's landmark ruling in 2018 that ordered Mitsubishi to pay compensation to them for forced mobilization for hard labor under Japan's colonial rule from 1910-45.

Mitsubishi has, however, refused to follow the order.

The latest suit came after the government announced a plan last week to compensate the victims through a public foundation supported by donations from South Korean businesses, without direct involvement of Japanese firms.

The victims' legal representatives said the plaintiffs may be able to immediately collect compensation without a lengthy liquidation process once the district court rules in favor of them, because the suit seeks to collect the money from MH Power Systems' monetary claims.

"We will strive to help forced labor victims who reject the government's latest settlement plan receive compensation through liquidation of Korean assets held by Japanese firms in accordance with the victims' wish," the representatives said.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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