Mongolian firm wants court to rescind decision to deny its acquisition of Chongryon HQ

Kyodo

A Mongolian company that won last October’s auction for the Tokyo headquarters of a pro-North Korean association appealed Wednesday against the Tokyo District Court’s recent decision to void the auction results.

The district court rejected the bid offer by Avar Limited Liability Co., noting that some of the documents submitted by the firm were copies rather than originals. The Tokyo High Court will judge whether to approve the firm’s acquisition of the estate of the General Association of Korean Residents in Japan (Chongryon).

If approved, the deadline will be set for paying the bid price of ¥5.01 billion. If disapproved, a third round of bidding will be held.

Chongryon acts as North Korea’s de facto embassy in Japan in the absence of diplomatic ties between the two nations.

In 2012, the district court decided to auction Chongryon’s headquarters as demanded by the government-backed Resolution and Collection Corp., which is owed about ¥62.7 billion by Chongryon following the collapse of financial institutions in Japan for pro-North Korean residents.

In the first round held last March, Saifuku Temple in Kagoshima Prefecture won the bidding to acquire Chongryon’s 10-story head office with two basement floors and its 2,387-sq.-meter tract of land in Chiyoda Ward.

But the temple, whose chief priest, Ekan Ikeguchi, is known to have close ties with senior North Korean government officials and Chongryon, failed to pay the bid price by the deadline and was eliminated in the second round of auction.

Avar Limited Liability was one of the two bidders who filed their bids in the second round in October.