Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Hundreds of Chinese families seek wartime compensation from Japan

BEIJING —As relations between China and Japan plumb a new low, the descendants of hundreds of Chinese men forced to work in wartime Japan are taking big, modern-day Japanese corporates to court. They are seeking millions in compensation.
Japan invaded China in 1937 and ruled parts of it with a brutal hand for the next eight years. Chinese historians say nearly 40,000 men were taken to Japan against their will to work in mines and construction. Survivors say living conditions were appalling. Many did not make it back to China.

In possibly the biggest class-action suit in Chinese legal history, about 700 plaintiffs lodged a case against two Japanese firms at a courthouse in eastern Shandong province in April, said Fu Qiang, a lawyer representing the families. Among the plaintiffs are several forced laborers, now in their 80s and 90s, and this might be their last chance to seek redress.

The suit was filed against Mitsubishi Corp (Qingdao) Ltd, a subsidiary of Mitsubishi Corp, and Yantai Misubishi Cement Co, a joint venture between Mitsubishi Corp and construction firm Mitsubishi Materials Corp, Fu said.

The plaintiffs are each seeking 1 million yuan ($160,100) in compensation, a public apology in several prominent Chinese and Japanese newspapers, as well as the erection of a memorial and monument in remembrance of the forced labourers, Fu said, adding that they also want the companies to fund their legal expenses.

It is unclear whether the lawsuit, with other smaller cases, will be accepted. But lawyers say there is a good chance they will be heard after a Shanghai court last month impounded a Japanese ship over a dispute that dates back to the 1930s war between the two nations.

The lawsuits could further irritate diplomatic relations. Late last month, China released previously confidential Japanese wartime documents, including some about comfort women forced to serve in military brothels. The files also contain details of the Nanjing Massacre, a major source of debate between the countries.............http://www.japantoday.com/category/national/view/hundreds-of-chinese-families-seek-wartime-compensation-from-japan

1 comment :

  1. Chinese Families Seek Wartime Compensation from Japanese Firms ....

    Japan insists that the issue of compensation was settled by the framework of the 1951 San Francisco Peace Treaty, which formally ended the war, and by later bilateral treaties.

    Many of the former forced laborers have died in the more than half century since the war...........http://www.voanews.com/content/reu-chinese-families-seek-wartime-compensation-from-japanese-firms-/1914936.html


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