On July 10, 2013, an appellant court ordered the Nippon Steel and Sumitomo Metal Corp. to compensate four former Korean employees, as they were forced into labor during the colonial rule of Japan. The Seoul High Court said in a retrial that the steel giant must pay 100 million won to all four people in delayed salaries and additional damages.

A labourer works on a steel melting boiler at the factory of Swiss Steel AG which is partly owned by the 'Schmolz + Bickenbach' group in Emmenbruecke

The verdict said, “Then a key defense contractor, Nippon Steel committed anti-humanitarian, illegal acts together with the Japanese government such as mobilizing manpower for an aggressive war”. The four suitors include a 90-year-old Yeo and an 87-year-old Shin, who filed a collective suit in Seoul against the Tokyo-based steelmaker in 2005 and sought 100 million won per person in withheld wages and compensation for illegal acts.

Yeo and Shin both filed a similar case separately in Osaka in 1997, but lost eventually in 2003. The government of Korea maintained that the victims are entitled to pursue compensation both on a governmental and individual basis.

During the same month, the top court has ruled in favor of another group of five Koreans who claimed compensation from Mitsubishi heavy industries Ltd. They demanded that the engineering and aviation conglomerate must pay back their wages and compensation for their forced work.