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Japanese Court Rejects Compensation Suit
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A Japanese court Monday rejected demands for compensation of about 184 million yen (US$1.56 million) by a group of Chinese forced to work as slave laborers at a Japanese mine during World War II, a court official said.

The Miyazaki District court dismissed the suit seeking damages from the Japanese government and Mitsubishi Metals Corp, formerly Mitsubishi Metal, that operated the mine in Hinokage on the southern island of Kyushu during the WWII, said court spokeswoman Tomomi Hirata.

Kyodo News agency quoted judge Yumiko Tokuoka as saying the state has an obligation to pay damages because Japan forcibly brought Chinese into the country "as a national policy that was a crime against humanity," but added the deadline for filing compensation claims 20 years under Japanese law had expired.

"This is an unjust verdict ... but (the court) recognized the facts in detail as we claimed" that the Chinese were forced to work under bad and harsh conditions, said Sachiko Narumi, lead lawyer for the plaintiffs.

The suit was filed by seven Chinese men who said they were among 250 people, mostly from China's Shandong Province, who were forcibly brought to Makimine mine in Hinokage town toward the end of WWII.

(China Daily via agencies March 27, 2007)

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