Lawyers for South Korean plaintiffs seeking damages for wartime labor say they have begun court procedures to sell assets seized from Japan's Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.
They say they have asked the Mitsubishi side for a meeting three times but the requests were ignored. They also say three of the plaintiffs have passed away while MHI refuses to implement a ruling by South Korea's Supreme Court.
The plaintiffs are women who say they were forced to work for the Japanese firm during World War Two. Last November, the Supreme Court in Seoul finalized lower court rulings that awarded them compensation.
South Korean plaintiffs who won separate wartime labor lawsuits are in the midst of court procedures to liquidate the stocks of other Japanese companies for cash.
Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga voiced concern over the latest moves, saying the government urges South Korea to take measures to rectify the situation.
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries has issued a statement saying it would take appropriate action in cooperation with the Japanese government.
The Japanese government requested South Korea to start a third-party arbitration process over wartime labor disputes. It was based on a bilateral agreement in 1965, in which Tokyo says the right to claim compensation was settled.
Last Thursday marked the deadline for an answer, but Seoul failed to respond, saying the date was unilaterally and arbitrarily set by Japan.