About 700 people who were forced to work in Japan during World War II filed a lawsuit in east China's Shandong Province on Tuesday, demanding both an apology and compensation from two China-based Japanese companies.
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LiveLeak.com - Chinese sue Japanese companies over slave labor in WWII, asking for 1 million yuan compensation per person
Four representatives on behalf of the former laborers
signed a letter, authorizing a legal aid team to file the lawsuit at
Shandong Higher People's Court.
Mitsubishi Corporation (Qingdao)
Ltd. and Yantai Mitsubishi Cement Co., Ltd., which are accused of
forcing laborers from Shandong to Japan to work during the war, are
being sued 1 million yuan (160,700 US dollars) per victim in
compensation. The laborers also want a written apology published in
major newspapers in China, said Fu Qiang, executive head of the legal
aid team and head of Shandong Pengfei Law Office.
Fu said the two
Mitsubishi companies are not directly connected but affiliated to the
original perpetrator, Mitsubishi Materials Corp in Japan.
"The two companies are foreign-owned enterprises in China, and subject to Chinese law," said Fu.
is the second time the laborers have brought a compliant to court. In
September 2010, six laborers, on behalf of 1,000 Chinese from Shandong,
brought a lawsuit against the two companies. The court refused to accept
Around 40,000 Chinese, one-fourth of whom were from
Shandong, were forced to work in Japan during the war. Of these workers,
7,000 died in Japan. Thirty-five Japanese companies are believed to
have been involved in forced labor from 1937 to 1945, when Japan invaded
Quoting government figures, Wang Wanying, one of the four
representatives and son of a victim, said out of 1,500 laborers brought
to Japan from Shandong's Yuncheng County, only 130 people returned home
"My father was lucky enough to survive," said 55-year-old Wang. "We will carry on to seek justice," he said.
courts have rejected all compensation claims in 15 lawsuits filed by
forced Chinese laborers since the 1990s, saying that a 1972 bilateral
agreement nullified Chinese rights to seek war-related compensation.
former Chinese Foreign Minister Qian Qichen, said in March 1995 that
although China had discarded national reparations, the government did
not abandon its people's rights to demand compensation.
26, nine former laborers filed a lawsuit against Coke Industry Co., Ltd.
of Japan, Mitsubishi Materials Corporation and the Japanese government
at Tangshan City Intermediate People's Court. They are requesting
compensation. A decision to accept the case has not been made yet.
March 18, the Beijing Intermediate People's Court accepted a lawsuit
against Coke Industry Co., Ltd. of Japan and Mitsubishi Materials
Corporation over the matter, the first such case to be accepted in
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said Japan
should seriously address issues of forced labor, take a responsible
attitude and seriously treat and properly handle the issues left over
from history. - Xinhua