Seoul orders Japanese firm to compensate forced workers

Seoul, Nov 13 (IANS) A Seoul court on Friday ordered a Japanese iron and steel company to pay compensation to eight South Koreans who carried out forced labour in its plants during Second World War.

The Seoul Central District Court said the forced mobilisation of labour was illegal and ordered Nippon Steel and Sumitomo Metal Corporation to pay $86,100 in damages to each of the plaintiffs, EFE news reported.

The eight South Koreans were forced to work at the factories of its predecessor, Nippon Steel Corp, in Kamaishi in Iwate prefecture, and Kitakyushu in Fukuota prefecture.

The Korean peninsula was under Japanese imperial rule during the war and hundreds of thousands of Koreans were forcibly recruited to work at its defense factories, according to historians.

This is the second such ruling of 2015 after a court in Gwangju ordered Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in July to pay compensation to four South Koreans who had been forced to work.

South Korea and Japan signed a treaty in 1965 normalising relations between the countries and under which the latter paid a substantial amount of compensation to South Korea for damages suffered during the colonial era.

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