All papers reported from Seoul that a South Korean district court approved last week a request filed by Koreans who were requisitioned to work at Japanese plants operated by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries during the colonial rule to seize the company’s Korea-based assets, explaining that two trademarks and six patents worth some 80 million yen ($740,000) have now been frozen for eventual liquidation. The victims reportedly warned that the assets will be liquidated unless the Japanese corporation holds talks with them in good faith on their demand for compensation. This is the second time for a South Korean court to approve a request by former requisitioned workers for the seizure of assets held by Japanese companies.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga denounced the court decision by saying: “It is extremely serious…. We will continue to respond appropriately from the standpoint of defending the legitimate business activities of Japanese firms.” While noting that some LDP politicians are openly calling for economic retaliation, Asahi claimed that most GOJ officials are taking a cautious stance based on the judgment that punitive steps could trigger tit-for-tat countermeasures, which would have adverse effects on both nations’ economies.