Victims of the germ warfare during the Japanese invasion of China in the 1930s to 1940s, prepared for their 25th hearing against the Japanese Government over the weekend.
Some former soldiers with the Japanese Unit 731 and Japanese lawyers working for the plaintiff delegation joined a meeting in the capital city of East China's Zhejiang Province to prepare the case against the Japanese Government.
One hundred and eight Chinese victims of the Japanese germ warfare in the 1930s and 1940s filed a civil case to the Tokyo Local Court against the Japanese Government in 1997, asking for justice and compensation.
After four years of marathon-like hearings, the Tokyo Local Court is expected to give a final ruling on the case next March.
However, 23 plaintiffs, all victims of the germ warfare, have passed away over the last six years.
More victims would die of senility in the coming years, said Wang Xuan, head of the delegation.
"We are very indignant of the Japanese Government's indifference and inhumane attitude towards the victims," said He Yingzhen, a 70-year-old female survivor of the Japanese germ warfare from Zhejiang Province.
Six of her family members died one after another within 18 days after the Japanese warplane dumped germ bombs onto her hometown.
"I would not give up so long as I am alive," said He. "Should I die soon, my sons, my grandsons will continue to fight for justice."
The Japanese lawyers were all shocked and moved to tears.
"I am proud to be a member of the plaintiff delegation, accusing my own government in court," said an 78-year-old veteran of the notorious Japanese Unit 731 at yesterday's meeting.
He recalled his personal experience in the germ warfare against the Chinese civilians during invasion.
He had dissected Chinese people in germ tests and raised mice carrying plague and cholera.
"With all the evidences we have collected, we will show the judges as well as the Japanese people the truth of the case in the coming hearing," said Tsuchiya, head of the Japanese lawyer delegation working for the plaintiff delegation.
"Since I am a member of the plaintiff lawyers delegation, I have been frequently assaulted by the right-wingers in our country," he said.
"I will not quit no matter what awaits me," he added.
(China Daily 08/07/2001)