Related News

Home » World

Slave laborers lose suit

A LAWSUIT filed against the Japanese government and two Japanese companies by 45 Chinese who were forced to work as laborers in Japan during World War II was turned down by the Fukuoka High Court yesterday.

The Japanese court said individual Chinese have no right to demand compensation from Japan as the right was abandoned under the 1972 Japan-China Joint Communique, in which China "renounced its war reparations from Japan."

However, the court acknowledged that forcibly taking the Chinese to coal mines in Fukuoka Prefecture and making them work there was an illegal act committed jointly by the state and the companies.

The ruling that individual Chinese have no right to seek war reparations was in line with a Japanese Supreme Court decision made in April 2007.

In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs, including relatives of the Chinese who were forced to work as laborers, had demanded that the Japanese government, Mitsui Mining Co and Mitsubishi Materials Corp pay a combined 1.04 billion yen (US$10.6 million) in compensation.

Last April the high court recommended that plaintiffs and defendants reach an out-of-court settlement, but the negotiations broke down.

In 2006, the Fukuoka District Court also acknowledged that the act was illegal but dismissed the lawsuit as the state was not held responsible for the act because public authority was exercised under the Meiji Constitution, which was in effect from 1890 to 1947.

The district court also said the plaintiffs had lost their right to seek reparation from the firms because 20 years have passed since the Chinese suffered forced labor.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend