2014年03月13日

My latest in NK News: Japanese real-estate investment firm will buy Chongryon’s Tokyo headquarters – reports

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Japanese real-estate investment firm will buy Chongryon’s Tokyo headquarters – reports

Original top bidder fell through following irregularities in the purchasing process

March 12th, 2014

Kosuke Takahashi

Japanese media on Wednesday reported that a Japanese court will allow a real-estate investment firm in western Japan to buy the Tokyo headquarters of the main pro-North Korea organization, Chongryon, on March 24.

Japan’s public broadcaster NHK said the Tokyo District Court will begin the legal proceedings to sell the headquarters for the main association of North Korean residents in Japan to Marunaka Holdings, a local property investment company based in Takamatsu City, Kagawa Prefecture in western Japan.

The firm offered the second-best price at the rebidding on the headquarters’ building and land last October, Japanese media said.

The top bidder, Ulan Bator-based Avar Limited Liability Company, was blocked from purchasing the property by a January ruling from the Tokyo District Court, citing irregularities. The Chongryon headquarters has for decades served as North Korea’s de facto embassy in Japan, as the two nations have no bilateral diplomatic relations.

The Mongolian firm, which had previously won an October 2013 auction for the building with a 5.01 billion yen ($48 million) rebid, was rejected by the court because a certificate it submitted to support the purchase appeared to be a color photocopy and did not bear the official seal of the Mongolian government.

“(Marunaka Holidings) participated in the bidding for the purpose of investment,” the NHK quoted a lawyer representing the company as saying.

The lawyer said the firm will tell Chongryon to vacate the property once the firm legally purchases it, according to the NHK.

The lawyer also said the firm is not considering renting the property to Chongryon.

In March 2013 the property was at first put up for auction by the Tokyo District Court to pay off the huge debts owed by the Chogin Credit Association, a failed credit union affiliated with Chongryon.

But a chief priest of a Japanese Buddhist temple, who won the March 2013 auction, was forced to cancel his purchase due to financial difficulties. It was then subsequently decided to make a second attempt at a sale, leading to the auction that the Mongolian company won in October 2013.

But the Tokyo District Court decided to postpone approval of the Mongolian company’s purchase on October 22 and asked the Ulan Bator government to cooperate in conducting background checks on the company.

Chongryon originally aimed to rent the property from any winning pro-North Korea bidder, but their efforts have been mired in complications.

Picture: Wikimedia Commons



posted by Kosuke at 01:46| Comment(0) | NK News