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Japan's high court turns down Chinese WWII laborers' appeal
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The Fukuoka High Court on Monday upheld the decision of the Nagasaki District Court to reject a damages suit filed by ten Chinese plaintiffs seeking compensation for forced labor in Japan under harsh conditions during World War II, local media reported.

Despite its admitting that the plaintiffs had suffered " extremely large" psychological and physical distress from forced transportation and forced labor, the high court turned down the appeal in line with a Supreme Court decision in April 2007 on the grounds that the plaintiffs lost their rights to war repatriations under the Japan-China joint declaration issued in 1972.

In March 2007, the district court rejected the damages suit filed by the ten Chinese, composed of former coal miners and relatives of deceased workers, citing the expired 20-year time limit.

After the high court ruling, Koichiro Tatsuta, a lawyer representing the plaintiffs, said they will appeal to the Supreme Court.

According to their account, during the World War II, the Chinese plaintiffs were forced to labor in three coal mines in Nagasaki Prefecture under harsh working conditions. Two of them were killed when Nagasaki was hit by an atomic bomb in August 1945.

(Xinhua News Agency October 20, 2008)

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