An appeals court in the city of Gwangju, South Korea, on Friday upheld a lower court ruling that ordered Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. to pay damages to two South Korean women over wartime forced labor.

The decision against the major manufacturer by the appeals division of the Gwangju District Court was in line with recent decisions in South Korean courts favoring wartime laborers over Japanese companies.

The rulings, including ones by the Supreme Court, determined that the right of victims to seek compensation over forced mobilization, during what it called Japan's "illegal" colonial rule, was not terminated by an accord attached to the 1965 bilateral treaty that normalized ties between the two nations.