A Japanese court on Tuesday rejected a damages suit filed by a group of six Chinese who were forcibly brought to Japan into hard labor during World War II.
The Yamagata District Court admitted that the Japanese government and Sakata Kairiku Unso Co. illegally brought the six Chinese to Japan and forced them into hard labor, but ruled that their right to demand war reparations was abandoned under the 1972 Japan-China joint communique.
The plaintiffs said they planned to appeal to the Sendai High Court and would continue to fight. They have demanded a total of 150 million yen (US$1.42 million) in compensation.
Three of the plaintiffs have died after they filed the suit in December 2004. The other three are all in their 80s.
Last April, Japan's Supreme Court dismissed a wartime forced labor damages suit and a "comfort women" damages suit filed both by Chinese victims, citing the 1972 joint communique. The rulings have been referred to as precedents in Japan in a series of similar suits filed by Chinese victims.
(Xinhua News Agency February 13, 2008)