Govt. Inquires About Wartime Labor Suits

Govt. inquires about wartime labor suits

The Japanese government has begun seeking information from private firms that are facing damages lawsuits by people who were forced to work for them during World War Two.

The action comes as South Korea's Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal to compensate 4 Korean plaintiffs who worked for the company against their wishes during the war.

Officials of the foreign ministry and other government agencies are contacting Japanese firms that have similar lawsuits filed against them.

The officials are offering a detailed explanation of the ruling and gathering information on claims being made against the firms.

People in business circles worry that an increase in the number of such lawsuits could harm trade and investment between Japan and South Korea.

Officials plan to discuss what measures should be taken to protect the interests of Japanese companies after the ruling.