Victims of Japan's forced labor and their family members arrive at the Supreme Court in Seoul, South Korea, Nov. 29, 2018. The sign reads " Mitsubishi Heavy Industries apologize and compensate victims."
Victims of Japan's forced labor and their family members arrive at the Supreme Court in Seoul, South Korea, Nov. 29, 2018. The sign reads " Mitsubishi Heavy Industries apologize and compensate victims."

SEOUL - South Korea's top court ruled on Thursday that Japan's Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. must compensate South Koreans in two separate cases for their forced labor during World War II.

Thursday’s decision echoed last month's Supreme Court verdict, which ruled in favor of South Koreans seeking compensation from Japan's Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp. for their wartime forced labor.

The Supreme Court ruled that Mitsubishi Heavy Industries must pay just over $71,000 to each of the more than 20 plaintiffs.

The case had been working its way through South Korea’s legal system since May 2000.
 
Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono called the ruling extremely regrettable and that it overturned the friendly ties between South Korea and Japan.

Lee Ju-hyun contributed to this report.