The Supreme Court rejected a request from the General Association of Korean Residents in Japan (Chongryon) to prevent the auction of a building and land owned by the pro-Pyongyang organization in central Tokyo, sources said June 28.
The top court supported a civil suit filed by the Resolution and Collection Corp. (RCC), the government-affiliated debt collection agency, to put the land and building up for auction. The rejection, dated June 27, finalized Chongryon’s defeat in the suit.
The court said the central headquarters of Chongryon can continue to use the land and building, located in Chiyoda Ward, until a buyer is found.
After a sales contract between the RCC and a buyer is reached, however, Chongryon will have to vacate the premises if the new owner requires it to do so.
The situation developed after pro-Pyongyang financial institutions in Japan loaned money to Chongryon. When the financial institutions collapsed, the RCC bought their Chongryon credits.
According to a Tokyo District Court ruling finalized in a different suit in 2007, the RCC had 62.7 billion yen ($784 million) in credits to Chongryon as of that year. The RCC is planning to put the land and building of Chongryon on auction as part of measures to collect the credits.
“An appropriate judgment was made (by the Supreme Court)," the RCC said in a statement. "We will continue to do our best to collect our credits.”
“We strongly hope the issue will be resolved through negotiations,” said the Chongryon public relations office.
As Japan has no diplomatic relations with North Korea, the Chongryon central headquarters has been the de facto embassy of the reclusive country and is regarded as the most important stronghold of Chongryon in Japan.
The building that accommodates the central headquarters is called “Chosen Chuo Kaikan” (Korea Central Hall). The 10-story building with two basement levels has a total floor space of about 12,000 square meters. The size of the land is about 2,400 square meters.
- « Prev
- Next »