The relatives of Koreans forced into labour for Mitsubishi during Japan's occupation during World War II are seeking the sale of the company's local assets to compensate them.
Lawyers and supporters of the Koreans forced to work for Mitsubishi Heavy Industries will ask a court to authorise the sale of assets that South Korea has seized from the Japanese company, to comply with previous court orders.
The assets are some of Mitsubishi's trademark rights and patents.
The lawyers and activists said the have sent three requests for negotiations on compensation to Mitsubishi but it hasn't responded. Three of their ageing plaintiffs died of old age this year, they said.
The development comes amid growing tensions between South Korea and Japan over trade issues.
Tokyo recently tightened controls on high-tech exports to South Korea, a move Seoul believes is retaliation for the South Korean court rulings last year. Japan says it is not retaliation.
South Korea has been stepping up pressure on Japan to withdraw the newly imposed trade controls, which require approvals for all sales of certain materials used in many high-tech products.
In his toughest comments yet on the issue, South Korean President Moon Jae-in said Monday the measure threatens to shatter economic cooperation between the neighbours and could damage Japan more than South Korea.
Japan says the three materials subject to its export control measure can only be sent to trustworthy trading partners.
Japanese officials have suggested there may have been transfers of sensitive materials from South Korea to North Korea in a violation of UN sanctions on the North.
Seoul has dismissed as groundless such a view and proposed a UN investigation on it.
The Japanese trade minister, Hiroshige Seko, rejected Moon's comments.
Australian Associated Press