The South Korean Supreme Court is expected to soon decide on whether or not to uphold a wartime labor compensation claim against a Japanese company, which would see the liquidation of corporate assets and an escalation of tensions between the East Asian neighbors.

The decision, which could be made any day now, relates to a 2018 ruling from South Korea’s top court in which Mitsubishi Heavy Industries was ordered to pay compensation to individuals that the court deemed victims of forced labor during Japan's colonial rule over the Korean Peninsula from 1910 to 1945. Another Japanese industrial giant, Nippon Steel, faces a similar ruling.

The two companies have so far refused to pay, citing the Japanese government’s assertion that all issues related to wartime labor — including compensation for South Korean claimants — were resolved “completely and finally” by the terms of the agreement normalizing bilateral ties between the two countries in 1965.