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Chinese woman gets paid for Nanjing libel

A CHINESE woman has just received 4.55 million yen (US$45,690) after being defamed by a right-wing Japanese author and publisher, China News Service has reported.

The Japanese Supreme Court rejected a final appeal by author Shudo Higashinakano, of the Asia University, and his publisher Tendensha, on February 5, and ordered them to pay the damages to Xia Shuqin, aged 80.

Xia is the only survivor of the Nanjing Massacre who has managed to obtain compensation. She said she was defending the truth of the Nanjing Massacre history.

Japanese troops occupied Nanjing in December 1937 and for six weeks massacred the population. Records show that more than 300,000 Chinese, soldiers and civilians, were killed.

Seven of Xia's relatives were killed by the Japanese on December 13, 1937. Xia, then 8-years-old was stabbed and left unconscious. She survived the war with her sister and was featured in 16mm footage filmed at the time by American Pastor John Magee.

However, Shudo Higashinakano's book "The Complete Investigation into the Nanjing Massacre" said Xia had not been a witness to the massacre. The book, published by Tendensha in 1998, was translated into English and Chinese and sold thousands of copies. It claimed Xia was not the girl featured in the film.

In November, 2000, in a Nanjing Court, the old woman filed a libel claim against Shudo Higashinakano and Tendensha. In April 2006 the two Japanese parties filed a counter claim in Tokyo, claiming they had not damaged Xia's reputation.

Xia decided to go to Japan to deal with the claim herself, taking the Japanese by surprise – the author and publisher withdrew their claim.

Xia then sued the two for slander taking them to the Tokyo District Court, which ruled in favor of the old woman on November 2, 2007. The Tokyo High Court upheld this ruling on May 2008. Then the appeal was eventually taken to the Supreme Court after the defendants refused to accept the High Court decision.


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