Japanese Contractor Agrees to Compensate 986 Chinese Labourers

Japan's Kajima Corp said Wednesday it had agreed to pay 500 million yen (US$4.6 million) to compensate 986 Chinese who were forced to work in Japan during World War II.

The landmark accord was struck in an out-of-court settlement under which the Japanese general contractor did not admit any responsibility.

"We reached an out-of-court settlement with the Chinese plaintiffs. We agreed to give 500 million yen to the Chinese Red Cross Society," a Kajima spokesman told AFP.

"The Red Cross Society will set up a fund to compensate all 986 workers. For those who died, their families will receive money. But this does not mean we have legally admitted our responsibility," added the spokesman.

The settlement marks the first time a Japanese company has agreed to compensate Chinese forced labourers.

It is also the first time that a compensation package has been extended to cover all the original victims or their surviving relatives, and not just the named plaintiffs to the action.

(China Daily 11/29/2000 )

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