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Japanese Court Dismisses Chinese Forced Labor Lawsuit
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A Japanese district court Wednesday dismissed a lawsuit filed by former Chinese forced workers and bereaved families, who demanded a total of 460 million yen (about US$4 million) in compensation from the Japanese government and related companies for suffering endured during the Second World War.

The Maebashi District Court in Gunma Prefecture acknowledged that the plaintiffs suffered great suffering due to wartime forced labor, but refused to justify their argument that the 1972 Japan-China Joint Communique has no intervention into individuals' rights for compensation.

The 46 plaintiffs, consisting of 13 former laborers and 33 relatives of seven deceased laborers, vowed to appeal to the Tokyo High Court.

The 20 former Chinese labors were forcibly taken to Japan by the then Imperial Japanese Army in 1944 and 1945 and were forced into hard labor at military-related facilities in Gunma.

The ruling was the latest in a series of dismissals of lawsuits filed by Chinese citizens for their wartime suffering.

In April, the Japanese high court dismissed a forced labor suit and a sex slavery suit filed by Chinese sufferers, citing the ineligibility of Chinese individuals to ask for compensation from the Japanese side as "the Chinese government gave up such right in a bilateral statement with Japan in 1972."

(Xinhua News Agency August 30, 2007)

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