Japan-South Korea ties cool over WWII labour ruling

Mr Lee Choon-sik (centre, in wheelchair) arriving at South Korea's Supreme Court in Seoul yesterday. The 94-year-old is the only one of four plaintiffs in the lawsuit, first filed in 2005, who is still alive. The Supreme Court ruling on compensation
Mr Lee Choon-sik (centre, in wheelchair) arriving at South Korea's Supreme Court in Seoul yesterday. The 94-year-old is the only one of four plaintiffs in the lawsuit, first filed in 2005, who is still alive. The Supreme Court ruling on compensation sets a precedent for about 15 similar cases still before the courts that involve about 70 companies, the Nikkei newspaper reported.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

South Korea's top court orders Nippon Steel to pay compensation over forced labour

South Korea's top court yesterday ordered a Japanese steel giant to pay compensation over its use of forced labour during World War II, in a decision that threatens to plunge ties between the two neighbours into a deep freeze.

The verdict against Nippon Steel and Sumitomo Metal Corporation - slammed by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as "unimaginable on the basis of international law" - may also jeopardise Japanese business interests in South Korea.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 31, 2018, with the headline 'Japan-S. Korea ties cool over WWII labour ruling'. Print Edition | Subscribe