National / Crime & Legal

Real estate firm sues Chongryon over delayed property sale

Kyodo

Real estate developer Marunaka Holdings Co. has filed a lawsuit with the Tokyo District Court against the pro-Pyongyang General Association of Korean Residents in Japan, blaming the group for delaying the company’s acquisition of the association’s Tokyo headquarters, sources close to the matter said on Wednesday.

Marunaka Holdings has sought damages of ¥100 million from the group, known as Chongryon, in connection with the sale of the property, the sources said. In the absence of diplomatic ties between the two countries, North Korea’s de facto embassy in Japan is housed on the property.

Marunaka Holdings, which is based in Takamatsu, Kagawa Prefecture, made a successful bid of ¥2.21 billion for the property last March, but it was rejected by Chongryon, which appealed the case.

The sale was approved by the district court and upheld by the Tokyo High Court in May. But the next month, the Supreme Court suspended a permit for the sale of the property following Chongryon’s appeal.

Only after the top court gave its final decision on the matter in favor of the developer in November was Marunaka Holdings able to move forward with its claim over the property. The real estate firm claims the delay prevented it from raising profits, according to the sources.

Marunaka Holdings said it is buying the property for investment purposes.

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