South Korea court allows seizure of payment owed to Mitsubishi Heavy for forced labour victims-NHK

TOKYO, Aug 19 (Reuters) - A South Korean court has ruled that the payments South Korean companies generally owe Mitsubishi Heavy Industries can be seized to compensate victims of forced labour during Japan’s 1910-45 colonial rule, according to Japanese broadcaster NHK.

The court ruled late on Wednesday that around 850 million South Korean won ($725,237) worth of payments owed to Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy could be seized for that purpose, NHK said.

The two countries have long been at odds over restitution for Koreans forced to work in Japanese firms and military brothels during Japan’s 1910-45 colonial rule.

A Mitsubishi Heavy spokesperson declined to comment, saying the company was trying to confirm details on the ruling.

An earlier ruling also allowed Mitsubishi Heavy’s assets in South Korea to be seized to pay forced labour victims, NHK said.

South Korea’s Supreme Court in 2018 ordered Mitsubishi Heavy to compensate former forced workers from South Korea, setting a precedent and drawing a strong rebuke from Japan, which believes the matter was settled under a 1965 treaty. ($1 = 1,172.0300 won) (Reporting by Tetsushi Kajimoto; Writing by Ritsuko Ando; Editing by Ana Nicolaci da Costa)