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Japanese firm loses South Korean war labour appeal

AFP  |  Seoul 

A court on Friday dismissed a Japanese industrial firm's appeal against an order that it pay a South Korean man 50 million won (USD 45,000) for forced wartime labour, the latest in a series of court rulings to strain ties between the neighbours.

South and its former colonial power are both US allies who have to contend with nuclear-armed North and a rising

But their relationship is soured by issues of past history, including Koreans forced to work at Japanese firms' factories during World War II, and a territorial row over Seoul-controlled islets also claimed by

South Korean courts have made a series of orders against Japanese firms, and Seoul's Moon Jae-in this week said should take a "more humble" attitude to history.

The latest ruling came in the case of a 95-year-old South Korean man surnamed Lee, who claimed in 2012 that he had worked at a Zosen shipyard and other locations with no pay for about a year.

Zosen was formerly a shipbuilder associated with the giant Group, but is now focused on and incinerators.

In 2014 a court ordered to pay Lee 50 million won in unpaid wages and compensation for emotional distress.

The company appealed, but the High Court upheld the original ruling on Friday, saying the award was not excessively high.

says the victims' right to sue was extinguished by the 1965 treaty which saw Seoul and restore diplomatic ties and included a reparation package of about USD 800 million in grants and cheap loans.

But South Korean courts made a series of recent rulings holding private Japanese businesses responsible for forced labour.

South Korea's top court in November ordered Japanese giant Heavy

Industries to pay 80 million to 150 million won to two separate of 11 people for forced wartime labour at its plants.

Another court earlier this month ordered the seizure of South Korean assets owned by in a case involving former wartime labourers or their families, prompting condemnation by

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, January 11 2019. 14:40 IST
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