Nippon Steel appeals court order over asset sale

Japan's Nippon Steel has appealed a South Korean court order approving the sale of assets seized from the company to compensate South Korean plaintiffs seeking damages for wartime labor.

South Korea's Supreme Court ordered Nippon Steel in 2018 to compensate South Koreans who claim they were forced to work for the company in Japan during World War Two.

The company's shares in a joint venture with a South Korean steelmaker were later seized on behalf of the plaintiffs.

Late last month, a district court branch in the city of Pohang approved the sale of those shares.

Nippon Steel on Wednesday revealed it had filed an appeal for an injunction on sale procedures.

The company says its understanding is that the issue of wartime labor had been settled under an agreement on the issue of claims Japan and South Korea signed in 1965 when the two countries normalized diplomatic ties.

The Japanese government says any rights to claims were settled completely and finally under that agreement.

The government maintains that compensation orders issued by South Korean courts to Japanese firms and related judicial procedures are in breach of international law, and it has been urging the South Korean government to rectify the situation.