Japan’s Supreme Court has ruled that Chongryon headquarters are a legitimate Chongryon asset which may be seized and auctioned as part of proceedings to recover loans made by a defunct credit union to the organization, Japanese broadcaster NHK reported on Tuesday.
A collection agency recently took over a number of bonds issued by the bankrupt Joeun Credit Union, which loaned around $700 million to Chongryon, the organization of North Koreans in Japan. The agency then announced its intention to pursue collection by putting Chongryon headquarters land and buildings in the Chiyoda district of Tokyo up for auction.
However, since the land and buildings are registered under a separate firm, Chosun Central Hall Management Association, the collection agency was required to file a lawsuit to get the necessary recognition of its right to seizure.
The court initially dismissed the collection agency’s claim on the grounds that the assets are held by a separate entity, but accepted, “It is possible to seize (the assets) if they can be shown to be actual Chongryon assets.”
Therefore, the collection agency filed a separate lawsuit to ask for recognition of the Chongryon headquarters estate and buildings as such an asset, and the Supreme Court has now ruled in its favor.
If the judgment is allowed to stand, the collection agency will be able to legally seize the estate and buildings of the Chongryon headquarters, adding to the organizations mounting woes.