Shanghai's maritime court has seized a ship owned by Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd. <9104> in connection with a wartime contract dispute involving the Japanese shipping company, according to an announcement by the court.
It is very rare that the property of a Japanese company in China has been confiscated in a dispute over wartime property damage claims.
The move is apparently part of Chinese authorities' pressure against the Japanese government and Japanese companies as relations between the two countries have been strained due to history issues.
According to reports in China and other sources, a Chinese shipping company rent two ships to Daido, a predecessor to Mitsui O.S.K., in Shanghai in 1936. But the Japanese company allegedly failed to return the ships and continued to use them without paying rents after a one-year contract expired. The ships eventually sank.
Japan has been stung by its third political scandal in a week after the country's new industry minister - whose predecessor resigned over allegations of misspending - admitted that his staff had spent office money at a sex bar. (The Guardian)
The government said Friday it has chosen Nobel physics prize laureates Shuji Nakamura and Hiroshi Amano and five others as this year's winners of Japan's top cultural award, the Order of Culture. (Kyodo)
In possibly a legal first, a female civil servant on Tuesday sued the government over what she calls institutional sexism at the ministry she works for, citing almost two decades of blocked promotions and pay raises. (Japan Times)