Rather than hold a third auction, the Tokyo District Court announced plans to sell the foreclosed Chongryon headquarters in Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo to a real estate company from Takamatsu City in Kagawa Prefecture. If there are no problems with Marunaka Holdings’ paperwork, the final decision regarding the sale will be made on March 24.
The property was initially put up for auction in March 2013. A Kagoshima-based Buddhist priest made the winning bid of 4.5 billion Yen but failed to come up with the money by the deadline. A second auction was held in October and Mongolian-based Avar LLC made the highest bid of 5.1 billion Yen. However, the legitimacy of Avar could not be confirmed and their bid was refused by the court.
There were concerns that North Korean interests may have tried to buy the building back through a third party, so the court has been carefully assessing each application. Unfortunately for Chongryon, it appears that Marunaka Holdings will be asking the de-factor North Korean embassy to vacate the building. [Update: Marunaka sold the property one year later for 4.4 billion Yen to a Yamagata Prefecture-based company with capital of just 3 million Yen. The new owner has allowed the defacto Embassy to stay on as a tenant.]
Marunaka was the only other bidder in the October auction and is expected to pay around 2.21 billion Yen for the property.
Source: The Nikkei Shimbun, March 12, 2014.