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'Comfort Women' Suit Rejected
A lawsuit filed against the Japanese Government demanding compensation by two "comfort women" -- females abducted and used for sex -- from North China's Shanxi Province was rejected by the Tokyo District Court yesterday, according to China News Service.

The two plaintiffs, one aged 75 and the other who died in May 1999, said they were taken away by the Japanese army from their hometown and forced to provide sex to its soldiers during World War II when they were just teenagers.

The lawsuit, filed in February 1996, demanded compensation from the Japanese Government of 40 million yen (US$301,250).

However, the court said in its judgment that individuals' demands of compensation from the Japanese Government could not be accepted.

Records show that about 50 such lawsuits have been filed against the Japanese Government in recent years by former "comfort women" or victims of sexual violence at the hands of the Japanese military during World War II, who came from the Republic of Korea and Japan.

But most of them failed, as the court maintains the time limit for filing claims -- 20 years -- has ended.

In April 1998, a local court once judged that the Japanese Government should pay three "comfort women" from the Republic of Korea 300,000 yen (US$2,260) each.

This, however, was cancelled by a higher court, insisting such compensation lawsuits against the Japanese Government should be decided by the Japanese Diet.

(China Daily March 30, 2002)

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