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Japan's supreme court rejects World War II forced labour claims by Chinese workers against Nishimatsu Construction

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Article
30 April 2007

War compensation [Japan]

Author: [editorial] Asahi Shimbun [Japan]

The Supreme Court Friday ruled that...individual Chinese people have...[no] right to seek through the judicial system compensation for suffering inflicted by wartime Japan. This ruling...rejected all claims for compensation from the Japanese government and private companies. The plaintiffs in the case were Chinese men who were forcibly brought to Japan to provide labor during World War II... Considering that the Chinese war victims suffered extremely grave physical and psychological pain and that the defendant companies profited from their forced labor, the court said, it is hoped that the companies and other parties concerned would make efforts to provide redress to the plaintiffs. Rather than calling for the companies to take voluntary action, however, the top court should have ordered them to provide relief.

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Article
28 April 2007

Japan Court Rules Against Sex Slaves and Laborers

Author: Norimitsu Onishi, New York Times

In two landmark rulings, Japan’s highest court on Friday rejected compensation claims filed by former wartime sex slaves and forced laborers from China but acknowledged that they had been coerced by the Japanese military or industry... In the forced labor case, the court overturned a lower court’s ruling in 2004 ordering Nishimatsu Construction to pay $230,000 to five Chinese plaintiffs... But the presiding judge took note of the plaintiffs “extremely large mental and physical suffering” and called on the company to “provide relief to the victims.”

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Article
28 April 2007

Ruling stuns, angers plaintiffs / Chinese forced laborers vow to battle on, refuse to accept 'unfair' decision [Japan]

Author: Yomiuri Shimbun [Japan]

Anger and incredulity greeted Friday's Supreme Court ruling that rejected the claim for damages filed by Chinese forcibly brought to Japan to work for [Nishimatsu Construction]. The...ruling...effectively shuts the door on all pending lawsuits by former Chinese forced laborers seeking compensation... In August 1944, 360 Chinese...were taken to a construction site... They dug tunnels in 12-hour shifts, a harsh working environment in which 29 died by the end of the war... According to a Foreign Ministry report, about 39,000 Chinese people were taken to Japan against their will and forced to work at construction sites or mines under harsh conditions, and about 6,800 of them died as a result. [also refers to lawsuit against Kajima]

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