The Gwangju District Court has ordered Nippon Coke to pay damages ranging from 13 million won (US$9,400) to 100 million won to each of 11 relatives of seven people forced to work in mines owned by Mitsui Mining Co., which was later renamed Nippon Coke & Engineering. (Image from Nippon Coke's website)

The Gwangju District Court has ordered Nippon Coke to pay damages ranging from 13 million won (US$9,400) to 100 million won to each of 11 relatives of seven people forced to work in mines owned by Mitsui Mining Co., which was later renamed Nippon Coke & Engineering. (Image from Nippon Coke’s website)

GWANGJU, July 9 (Korea Bizwire) – A South Korean court on Tuesday ordered Nippon Coke & Engineering to compensate Korean victims for their forced labor in Japanese mines during World War II.

The Gwangju District Court ordered the Japanese company to pay damages ranging from 13 million won (US$9,400) to 100 million won to each of 11 relatives of seven people forced to work in mines owned by Mitsui Mining Co., which was later renamed Nippon Coke & Engineering.

Among the seven victims was the deceased Park Hun-dong, who was forcibly mobilized by Japanese police in Hwasun District while recovering from wounds sustained during two years of forced military service in northern Manchuria for Japan.

He was then forced to work in coal mines in the Japanese province of Hokkaido, in the harsh cold and difficult working conditions, which resulted in him losing two fingers without treatment.

The dormitories were locked from the outside to prevent workers from escaping. In addition, workers had to do hard labor and food was limited.

Park remained imprisoned even after the Korean War of Independence on August 15, 1945, and was not able to return home until January of the following year.

Since their return home, Park and the other victims suffered from lung disease and other ailments until their deaths.

From 1910 to 1945, Korea was under Japanese colonial rule.

(Yonhap)