On May 24, 2012, the Supreme Court of Korea ruled in two cases on compensation for forced labor against two Japanese corporations, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (2009 Da 22549, issued May 24, 2012 [Supreme Ct.]) and New Nippon Steel Corporation 1 (2009 Da 68620, issued May 24, 2012 [Supreme Ct.]), holding that both corporations could be held liable for compensation claims in Korea even though the claims were previously denied by Japanese courts and apparently barred by the statute of limitations and the 1965 Claims Agreement. In these groundbreaking decisions, which overturned the lower court opinions in both the Nippon Steel (2005 Ga-hap 16473, issued Apr. 3, 2008 [Seoul Central Dist. Ct.]; 2008 Na 49129, issued July 16, 2009 [Seoul High Ct.]) and Mitsubishi lawsuits (2000 Ga-hap 7960, issued February 2, 2007 [Busan Dist. Ct.]; 2007 Na 4288, issued February 3, 2009 [Busan High Ct.]), the Supreme Court held that despite the apparent legal barriers, the victims’ claims could be pursued in Korea for several reasons: the assertion of jurisdiction was proper given the link between the claims and Korea; the prior decisions of the Japanese courts denying compensation could not be recognized as they violated “the good morals
Korean Journal of International and Comparative Law – Brill
Published: Nov 18, 2014
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