A South Korean court ordered Monday that Mitsubishi Heavy Industries' assets seized in Korea be sold off to provide compensation for wartime forced labor victims.
The ruling by the Daejeon District Court orders the sale of the Japanese company's two copyrights and patents to provide compensation for two female plaintiffs who are now in their 90s.
It's the first time a South Korean court has ordered the sale of a Japanese company's assets in relation to the issue.
The liquidation is expected to raise enough cash to provide some 176-thousand U.S. dollars for each victim, which includes interest as well as compensation for delayed payments.
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries said it will appeal the ruling.
The company added it will also coordinate closely with the Japanese government during the process.
In 2018, Korea's top court ordered Mitsubishi to compensate the forced labor victims.
However, the company refused to comply, insisting the issue was settled under a treaty signed between the two countries in 1965 to normalize ties.
The move is expected to lead to a further deterioration of relations between Seoul and Tokyo, at a time when ties have already soured over Japan's implementation of tighter export controls on some industrial materials bound for Korea.
The Japanese government has stressed multiple times that ordering the liquidation of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries' Korea-based assets should be avoided as it would have a severe impact on bilateral ties.
Kim Hyo-sun, Arirang News.