Japanese Firm, Chinese Group Reach Settlement on Incident

Japan's major construction firm Kajima Corp. agreed November 29 to set up a 500 million yen (US$4.5 million) fund to compensate Chinese victims of a labor camp uprising in northeastern Japan at the end of World War II.

Kajima and the Chinese group, representing survivors and relatives of the deceased, reached the settlement at the Tokyo High Court, ending a five-year court battle over the lawsuit filed by 11 Chinese plaintiffs.

Kajima's wartime predecessor, Kajima-gumi, operated the Hanaoka labor camp in Odate, Akita Prefecture, using Chinese forced laborers.

On June 30, 1945, more than 700 Chinese laborers, forcibly brought to the camp by Japanese aggressor troops in China, angered at the hard labor, staged an uprising. The uprising was later suppressed by Japanese military police and more than 130 laborers were killed in the incident, known as the "Hanaoka Incident."

On June 28, 1995, 11 survivors and relatives of the victims in the incident, led by 86-year-old Geng Juen, filed a suit to the Tokyo District Court, demanding a fair resolution of issues such as compensation pending between the Chinese survivors and Kajima.

The court rejected the Chinese group's claim in December 1997 without hearing testimony from survivors, saying forced labor in Japan ended in 1948 and the statute of limitations on the case had passed.

The rejection prompted the plaintiffs to challenge the ruling and in September last year, the Tokyo High Court put forward a" reconciliation advice" to both sides of the lawsuit.

(People’s Daily 11/29/2000)

In This Series

Japanese Contractor Agrees to Compensate 986 Chinese Labourers

Chinese Sue Japan Firms Over WWII Forced Labor



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