The National Pension Service invested some 5.6 trillion won ($4.73 billion) between 2014 and 2018 in Japanese companies linked to Japan’s forced wartime labor, raising questions about the service’s investment decisions.
The figures were released by Rep. Kim Kwang-soo of the minor opposition Party for Democracy and Peace, who is a member of the National Assembly’s Health and Welfare Committee.
The figures show that a total 87.5 billion won had been invested in Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and its affiliates.
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries -- a company that bolstered its size and presence during World War II -- forced some 100,000 Koreans into labor.
By year, the NPS invested 760 billion won in companies with ties to war crimes in 2014, 930 billion won in 2015, 1.1 trillion won in 2016, 1.5 trillion won in 2017 and 1.2 trillion won in 2018. The number of stocks varies each year.
As of the end of 2018, 63 of the 75 firms with ties to Japan’s wartime crimes in which NPS invested had recorded negative earnings.
“It goes against the public sentiment for the National Pension Service, which operates with the public’s future funds, to invest in a company linked to Japan’s wartime forced labor. Plus its investment showed a negative rate of return. It is time to institute a principle for investing in such Japanese firms with ties to war crimes,” Kim Kwang-soo said.
By Kim Bo-gyung (email@example.com