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War Victims Appeal Tokyo Court Ruling
Disappointed but defiant, Chinese who claim they were victims of Japanese biological warfare said yesterday they are appealing a Tokyo court's ruling denying them compensation.

The plaintiffs will also seek more international publicity and may coordinate with other groups seeking compensation for World War II Japanese army abuses, said Wang Xuan, a plaintiffs' representative.

"If the government truly represents Japan, then they should own up to their responsibility and compensate victims," Wang said.

The Tokyo court ruled on August 27 that under international law foreign citizens cannot seek compensation directly from the Japanese government. As in similar cases earlier, the court said compensation issues had already been settled under postwar treaties between Japan and other nations.

However, the court did acknowledge that Japan used biological weapons against Chinese before and during World War II - the first time a Japanese court has done so. The court's ruling included 10 pages acknowledging testimony of biological warfare incidents by Japanese veterans and Chinese victims.

Wang said she was heartened by that admission.

The ruling was still a bitter disappointment for many of the plaintiffs who were injured or lost relatives to germ attacks on civilians in eastern and central China.

(Eastday .com September 3, 2002)

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