national

China frees ship after Mitsui O.S.K. pays $28 mil

62 Comments

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© 2014 AFP

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

62 Comments
Login to comment

Mitsui had "fulfilled its obligations" by paying compensation and additional court costs of around $390,000, the court said. It did not name the Chinese party awarded the compensation.

Just like that? I hope this does not escalate similar events! (encouraging other Chinese company to follow "unnamed party")

4 ( +9 / -5 )

I thought China nationalized all the companies in the 1950s, which would make the "private company" a dead letter.

18 ( +21 / -3 )

Extortion, plain and simple.

25 ( +31 / -6 )

Shouldn't the money go to Chairman Mao's victims instead?

5 ( +13 / -8 )

When will Japanese business men learn how weak they make themselves look in these types of endeavors? Total push overs outside of their country. They need to learn how to stand up for themselves against strong opponents, but apparently they only know how to be tough with their wives and girl friends. Very disappointing.

16 ( +18 / -2 )

China must really need the money.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Not surprising. I didn't expect Mitsui to do anything but capitulate. Having to deal with corruption and political intrigue are costs of doing business in China.

The Chinese are shooting themselves in the foot by constantly harassing Japanese companies by going against the 1972 Joint Communique. Hell, we're already beginning to see the effects of this extortion; investment in China by Japan is moving elsewhere. Sucks that Japan has to suffer for this awakening, but its about damn time.

17 ( +20 / -3 )

Japanese investment has been on a sharp downturn lately, and this is just even more reason to pull out entirely.

8 ( +12 / -4 )

Obvious propaganda by China is obvious.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

That sets a bad precedent. They should have stood up to them. Now China will be emboldend to impound any vessel it wants to under any archaic law it decides to invent. Bad move Mitsui OSK you really shoud have shown a bit more backbone about it.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Wow, the Somali pirates have got nothing compared to the Chinese.

18 ( +22 / -4 )

Bad precedent! If you give in to hijackers, it only encourages more crime.

Any Japanese company with ancient pre-war contracts should be very alert now..... Chinese activists are combing through ancient archives as we speak.

15 ( +17 / -2 )

I hereby invent the term "historical terrorism" for these tactics of the Chinese Communist Party.

Civil suit, my foot!

13 ( +13 / -0 )

This should further encourage Japan's solidarity with ASEAN and Indian states, including many that perceive the Chinese as hoggingall the foreign investment that they could have received instead. It would be rewarding for countries like Vietnam and Myanmar that have been toyed and invaded by the Chinese over the course of 2 millenia to get their share of Japanese investment at the loss of the Chinese.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Sounds more like a ransom payment.

9 ( +13 / -4 )

I'd like to say that such blatant blackmail is surprising, but it's not. It's the rule, not the exception.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Now Mitsui should get compensated by the Japanese government, which caused the problem in the first place.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

WilliBAPR. 24, 2014 - 03:28PM JST Bad precedent! If you give in to hijackers, it only encourages more crime.

Any Japanese company with ancient pre-war contracts should be very alert now..... Chinese activists are combing through ancient archives as we speak.

I am totally for retro justice. Japan stole from thousands of Chinese companies there resources financial and otherwise during the war - now Chinese private companies with the protection of their politically and militarily stronger government are getting back what was taken.

-19 ( +4 / -23 )

We need strong Japanese leadership to deal with China aggression ASAP.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

This is just like paying ransom money to pirates. Sets a bad precedent.

Oh, wait, that's exactly what it is.

In this case, though, pirates on both sides perhaps?

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

Avoid China and the Chinese like the plague or suffer the consequences, it is rapidly becoming a rogue nation and a law unto itself disregarding international treaties and law when and how ever it decides.

Kick the dump to touch before we all get burnt.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

http://www.reddit.com/r/japan/comments/23jgao/chinese_court_seizes_mitsui_osk_lines_ship_in/cgy1yjj

Mitsui noted at the time that this case and another similar claim for Y1.2bn for a ship originally belonging to Dah Loh Industrial Co could “adversely affect the financial condition of Mitsui OSK lines” if awarded in full.

The Shanghai Maritime Court said it awarded Y2.9bn in compensation to the two grandsons in 2010, and that Mitsui’s appeal and request to reopen the case were both rejected by higher courts.

It awarded $9.45m to plaintiffs in the Dah Loh case. The court said that case was settled last year by Mitsui and Dah Loh’s legal representative.

Mitsui paid before so China knows they will pay again and again and again.

Mitsui had a contract with a Chinese company to deliver Australian ore using the seized ship.

If Mistsui failed to deliver the ore they would be back in a Chinese "court".

China has more surprises for Japan.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/04/24/us-china-marubeni-detention-idUSBREA3N04M20140424

Three employees at one of Marubeni Corp's (8002.T) grain trading units in China have been detained by authorities, the Japanese trading house said on Thursday, a move sources told Reuters was prompted by allegations the unit evaded taxes on soy bean imports.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Shame on you China! This has gotten beyond reasonable sanity! Why do you want the grandchildren suffer/pay for something the grandparents did many years ago? YOU ARE A DISGRACE TO ASIA, CHINA!

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Japanese businesses ought to know by know what they got into by doing business with China. In politics and business extortion remains business as usual and even the judiciary plays the same game.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Hey China....it just shows, we can buy your national pride! It is only a matter of amount!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Congratulations. I expect more extortion to come from China

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Sign, more monotonous vitriol from JT China-haters here. Can we have a little more intelligent debate? Do you see no capability on the part of Japanese companies involved in the exploitation of Chinese companies during the war? Is there convincing evidence that these Chinese companies have been fully and fairly compensated?

-10 ( +3 / -13 )

Don't be surprised Mitsubishi and other Japan Inc, in China exodus happens very rapidly. They were there to help modernization of Chinese industry. No more cooperation by Japan Inc, in China. Don't worry about Japan Inc in China, Almost every South East Asian countries have been eager to have Japan Inc, in their countries. India will benefit, too.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Good, China will FINALLY shut up about this. Igloobuyer- This was DURING THE WAR. For example, if someone KILLED YOUR ENTIRE FAMILY, that person's GRANDCHILDREN have nothing to do with it. Punishing the wrong people here. The Chinese govt. just wants the money, and the propaganda material. They honestly couldn't give a damn about their own people. Someone, please just slaughter them. As long as they are in power, nothing will change. I hope the Japanese don't give in to anymore crap from China. Move all Japanese businesses out of China ASAP. That will make it harder for China to pull this kind of childish crappy stunt again.
3 ( +8 / -5 )

igloobuyerAPR. 24, 2014 - 07:44PM JST Sign, more monotonous vitriol from JT China-haters here. Can we have a little more intelligent debate? Do you see no capability on the part of Japanese companies involved in the exploitation of Chinese companies during the war? Is there convincing evidence that these Chinese companies have been fully and fairly compensated?

Don't hold your breathe, most people are not interested in looking more deeply in the facts behind a news story or in a more 'balanced' perspective - you'll find most people are content with a black and white, good vs bad reality.

There is certainly some culpability on the part of war-time Japanese companies and the result of this court case is a clear acknowledgement and acceptance of this. Still, I hope it doesn't become a free-for all against Japanese companies in China.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Mitsui said in a statement on Monday that it had been seeking an out-of-court settlement after China’s supreme court rejected its appeal in 2011, but the vessel was “suddenly” impounded.

"suddenly" or after court waited for three years? moral of story: do not ignore legal court orders or pay heavy dues for late payment, interest and charges.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

toshikoAPR. 24, 2014 - 07:59PM JST Don't be surprised Mitsubishi and other Japan Inc, in China exodus happens very rapidly. They were there to help modernization of Chinese industry. No more cooperation by Japan Inc, in China. Don't worry about Japan Inc in China, Almost every South East Asian countries have been eager to have Japan Inc, in their countries. India will benefit, too.

You are kidding, aren't you? Mitsubishi committed more war crimes than practically any other Japanese company or German company. They have been found guilty several times of slave labour of Chinese, Korean and POW's (often by Japanese courts).

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

Agreed, extortion as mentioned above.

Yet China knows it can get away with this in the world court of public opinion, because there is an inherent anti Japan streak in the world media that China takes advantage of with the 'WW2 atrocity card.'

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Mitsui leased two ships from Dah Loh in 1936. However it has avoided contractual obligation for paying outstanding lease. That two ships were never have been returned due to using sinking cargo ships during the war.

If my grandpa leased two ships from some one grandpa and failed to return according the contract, as an inheritance of the same business, I am still liable to pay the outstanding debt even original creditor is no longer alive. If that two ships were stolen, I still owe to pay the replacement value.

That contractual obligation was according British commercial law. However the law suit was filed in 1988. It has been taken incredibly long for settlement between two commercial entities. Timing of settlement is politically motivated. However plaintiffs were civilians. That judgement is too little and too late for prosecutors. In the west, it is simply the commercial dispute of last 80 years.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Somehow, $28 million dollar is an incomplete number; according to Nikkei, Mitsui actually paid about 4 billion yen ($28 million compensation plus the accumulated interests, that 's another $10.6 million) In other words, it is a hefty $38.6 million price tag in total.

A lesson should be learned for Japan to do business, any business with China, the Chinese government is a very articulated and politically motivated regime, it often deploys a tactic (that is used in territorial disputes as well), in which it waits for the “right” time to bring up the claims and soon follows with some extreme measures when it sees the opportunities.

Hopefully, the seizure of Mitsui O.S.K would be one time incident, which would not set the precedence for Chinese claimants to take advantages on the Japanese companies which are doing the business with China.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

igloobuyerAPR. 24, 2014 - 07:44PM JST Sign, more monotonous vitriol from JT China-haters here. Can we have a little more intelligent debate? Do you see no capability on the part of Japanese companies involved in the exploitation of Chinese companies during the war? Is there convincing evidence that these Chinese companies have been fully and fairly compensated?

We'd gladly want a debate from JT Japan-haters here. The problem is that, the HATE is there. We don't want to waste our energy in a meaningless fruitless argument based on biased opinions, rhetorics and propagandas. If you got the evidences and facts, we might take you seriously. But opinion? Forget it!

letsberealisticAPR. 24, 2014 - 08:21PM JST Don't hold your breathe, most people are not interested in looking more deeply in the facts behind a news story or in a more 'balanced' perspective - you'll find most people are content with a black and white, good vs bad reality. There is certainly some culpability on the part of war-time Japanese companies and the result of this court case is a clear acknowledgement and acceptance of this. Still, I hope it doesn't become a free-for all against Japanese companies in China.

Do you have those facts and evidences yourself? How are these not facts?:

,1. The seizure undermines a 1972 joint communique that normalised ties between Japan and China.

,2. China's Supreme People's Court later rejected the Japanese firm's appeal against the judgement. CANNOT APPEAL! (Because it's Japan!)

,3. Grandchildren paying price for grandparents' mischief.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Well. Japan pay its debt. Then China or korea makes a new excuse

0 ( +1 / -1 )

NeoJamal: Don't be surprised Mitsubishi and other Japan Inc, in China exodus happens very rapidly. They were there to help modernization of Chinese industry.

South Korea companies like Hyundai is expanding in China with more factory. http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/04/24/hyundai-motor-results-q-idUSL3N0N826D20140424

Toyota want to expand production in China and source more parts for their electric cars. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-drive/new-cars/auto-news/toyota-wants-to-use-more-hybrid-system-parts-made-in-china/article18100665/

Tesla plans to start making cars in China the next few years. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-04-20/tesla-to-start-model-s-sales-to-china-s-elusive-motorists.html

First, there won't be exodus of Japanese companies(any global companies that matters)from China. China is a huge market and without selling their products in China , Japanese companies won't be able to compete in this globalized world. Another thing, Japanese companies were/are not in China to help it modernize but are there to make profit.

-9 ( +2 / -11 )

If my grandpa leased two ships from some one grandpa and failed to return according the contract, as an inheritance of the same business, I am still liable to pay the outstanding debt even original creditor is no longer alive

If you were being sued by the same company or its successor company. But in this case Mitsui was being sued by the descendants of a now defunct company - which as was pointed out would have been nationalised by the Communists even if it still existed after WWII. So in most courts these people would have had no standing to sue Mitsui. Only in China, where the law is whatever the CCP says it is, was this case possible.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Lets look at this MOL ship seizure for a moment: On a different side to the same coin, it wasn't long ago that the independent US regulatory agency overseeing maritime transport, ruled that both K Line and NYK Lines, very reputable Japanese ocean carriers, pay fines of @ $1 million each for... the kind of things only a statist uber regulator can come up with. An arbitrary number thrown at them to pay up, or else. Then on the heels of that, the same US regulators held a Global Summit of Regulators in DC end of last year, and their vaunted main invited guests from overseas were from... the PRC, plus EU regulators. No one from Japan. Sharing notes on how and who to "regulate". So, the MOL vessel wasnt seized illegally, it was held up by the Regulators. For "just cause" operating under "the rule of law." MOL didnt pay ransom, it was just a fee, a settlement. Until the next time it happens. Yes, the PRC and those in lock step with their mind set -- makes this a more unfair, unjust and dangerous world, and businesses must realize the risk. "Regulators of the world unite", paraphrasing the old Marxist slogan.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Good plan Mitsui! Get ship and cargo back and continue delivery schedules, meanwhile formulate a plan that does not include China in the future.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Oh, hello, I would have seized that ship solely based on it's name. "Baosteel Emotion"...gotta have it!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

So this means anytime China takes a Japanese ship they will ask for Ransom payments. I guess this is the new definition of Legalized Pirating! WOW Japan got PIMPED!!! Expect more chinese pirates to do the same in the future!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

What China doesn't realize is ...there see many more countries arising that could fill it's shoes with little investment. If I was a major shipper or a major investor I'd pull out and go to india, Mexico or South America . Screw china ! USA has the right mindset ...if China wants to cause Sh&¥ them relocate or realocate ...of they think they have problems with civil unrest now wait until all the companies pull out because of fear of their investments not being protected or their shipments being held up for ransom

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The Chinese courts did not name the Chinese party awarded the compensation...... why not???

1 ( +1 / -0 )

J Govt saying the ruling may Intimidate Japanese Companies??? Any company not paying their bills worth $28 mil Should Be intimidated or is J Govt saying it's alright for J companies in China to skip bills?

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

the seizure undermines a 1972 joint communique

It's good news for the heirs of all Japanese (Europeans, Americans, etc) that owned land, houses, shops, factories and had lent money in China before they were thrown out to the sea at the time the whole country became Communist. They can sue Chinese government to get their money back. Courts in Shanghai will be busy. As the 1930's deals are valid, 1/3 of the city at least belongs to foreigners that never sold their land and have not yet been compensated by China. And if they don't get paid, well any Chinese boat arriving at a port will do...

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Nice one for China.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

The Chinese courts did not name the Chinese party awarded the compensation...... why not???

Everybody knows the Chinese party is called" Zhōngguó Gòngchǎndǎng" and no confusion is possible as they have only one.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Looks like someone forgot to grease the right hands.

Well, now its public...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The only thing Japan have accomplished in this matter was to make China just a little bit more stronger with paying them the bills on 28 Million US dollars plus the court costs:(

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Mitsui O.S.K should outsource any remaining shipments and stop doing business with the Peoples Republic of China. My guess is the PRC will repeat this action very soon. Doing business with PRC is like doing business with a known thief. It places both the companies personnel and assets at risk.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

"I'll make him an offer he can't refuse."

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Shumatsu_SamuraiAPR. 24, 2014 - 10:45PM JST

But in this case Mitsui was being sued by the descendants of a now defunct company - which as was pointed out would have been nationalized by the Communists

Octagon is correct. If My company is liquidated or no longer paying outstanding debt, the bank or appointed administrator will seize my company physical assets such as trucks, land and warehouses. In the reality, if I owe you some debt, you will never get back 100% of your money back. It will be luck to get back some of the portion of debt.

As an contractual obligation, the court can seize my house, car and bank account for honoring the debt. I do not see anything wrong about the court seized Mitsui ships on the behalf of Plantiffs. The only abnormality is it takes too long for settlement and timing is so sudden Dependents of borrower who are still in the business still liable for outstanding debt to the successors of other failed business. The meaning is sate owned company. Not the private company.

Only in China, where the law is whatever the CCP says it is, was this case possible.

The case were filed in the court 1988. It was long before the political tension between two states. Not only in China, Singapore, Qatar and middle eastern nations have state owned company chasing the outstanding debt of their purchased company. Can we say that nations laws are same as PRC law?

Debt will never settle unless repay according the contract even borrower and creditor are no longer alive. In the court, that argument of successor is state owned company not the original private company is invalid. PRC law was copied by HK style British commercial and company law.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Mitsui actually just got a deal of the century.

If you look at capital costs in 1930s values and take into account the 80 or so years of accrued interest...

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

The company thought it was better to pay than to lose the ship.

But, this was a grave mistake. You never pay blackmailers, extortionist, pirates or thugs. Because once you pay them they will continue to try and suck you dry.

Communist China will reap what it sows, right now they are living it big on top of their mountainous bubble once it pops they will see the real lean years and who will they turn to for help?

Let me correct myself, who will be there to help them?

You reap what you sow.....

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

At the end it's only going to bite PRC where the sun don't shine since inssurers are going to hike up the country premium due to unstability of PRC's legal system. This will in return hike all import as well as exporting cost which will ultimately reflex on their competitiveness in the global market.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Communist China will reap what it sows

Communist China does not exist, as China is an oligarchy, and does not even remotely follow the tenets of communism.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

That is just outrageous piracy. China is turning into another Somalia!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

This is civil case in which Mitsui is lucky only $30,million to pay off. Chinese Govt must be worrying now that Mitsubishi and Other Japan Inc might pull out from China to sabotage China's plan to modernize its industry. China had hard time to convince Mitsubishi to help Chinese industrialization.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I never thought I would see so many people so adamant that someone or some group NOT pay its bills. What is the world coming to? Oh, I remember now. This is about taking sides, and if my brother punches your sister then your sister must have deserved it, or at least that is the narrative of taking sides. If the rednecks I grew up with taught me anything, it was the narrative of taking sides.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

@Crimson and /clover: It is not siding case. Because Chinese Govt used to be Marxism Communist Govt and still tend to have everything by the govt, many people did not realize Shanghai Maritime Court handled this case as Civil lawsuit. They just concluded that Chinese Govt seized the ship. Mitsui paid and that is the end. BTW, you have strange example that is not related to property seizure by a court. Not a bill settling cssde and punching is in different criminal case. This is a civil lawsuit, not criminal case.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites