The ninth year of the Heisei era (1998),
(Ne) No. 5746
A lawsuit for the demand of reparation for injury
The appellants (plaintiffs): Geng Zhun and 10 others
The defendant: Kajima Corporation
The Provisions of the Settlement
The Section 1. The both parties concerned reconfirm the joint statement issued on July 5, 1990. However, the defendant insisted that the joint statement does not acknowledge the legal responsibility of the defendant and the appellants took note this claim.
The Section 2. In order to settle the problem described in Section 2 of the aforementioned joint statement, and to commemorate those who underwent ordeals at the work site of the Hanaoka branch office (We call them "the victims" from now on.), the defendant will entrust a 500 million yen fund to the Chinese Red Cross (From now on, we call it "the interested party.").
The interested party will receive and manage this fund, and the appellants will accept this entrustment.
The Section 3. The defendant will deposit the total amount for the trust fund concerning this case to the bank account that will be designated by the attorney for the interested party, Takashi Niimi, by December 11th, 2000.
The Section 4. The interested party (From now on, we will call it "the entrusted party" in this document.) will manage this fund entitled as the "Hanaoka Peace and Goodwill Foundation," and use it in the following ways.
1. The entrusted party will establish the managing committee for the Hanaoka Peace and Goodwill Foundation (From now on, we call it as "the managing committee.") for the purpose of the proper management and use of this fund.
2. The managing committee will consist no more than nine members. The committee chair who will be appointed from the members by a selection by these members themselves will represent the committee. However, the defendant may appoint one of the members if so desires. The members will establish the details of the organization of the managing committee and the clerical procedures for the operation of the trust fund.
3. In the spirit of promoting friendship between China and Japan, the fund will be used for providing memorial services for the victims, the self-help efforts and care of the victims and their families, and education of their children.
4. As the beneficiary of the trust fund, the victims and their families will receive payment, amount of which will be determined by the managing committee.
5. When it makes the aforementioned payment to the victims and their families, the entrusted party will describe the fact that the fund was provided by the defendant as well as the provisions of this settlement. In addition, the entrusted party should obtain from the recipient of the payment two copies of a written document that demonstrates that s/he approves this settlement (with a signature or a seal bearing her/his name), and provide one of the copies to the defendant.
6. The managing committee will determine the range of the family members who will receive the payment by reviewing the situation of each family.
7. The managing committee will make the utmost efforts for investigating the victims and their families by procuring other agencies and organizations that have understood the provisions of this settlement.
8. The trust will be dissolved after having achieved its purposes by the decision of the managing committee. The committee will determine how to use the remaining fund.
Section 5. This settlement aims at resolving all the issues concerning the Hanaoka Incident, and comprises the acknowledgment on the part of the victims, including the appellants, that all the issues have been resolved, and that they will relinquish the right to claim any other reparations in Japan and any other countries and regions outside it.
In the case in which others than the appellants requested reparations to the defendant, regardless of whether they were the ones who provided the document as specified in Article 5 of Section 4 or not, the interested party and the appellants must resolve this problem and prevent the defendant from bearing a burden.
Section 6. Through a mutual acknowledgment, it has been confirmed that there is no other legal claim or liability between the appellants and the interested party, and the defendant.
Section 7. The appellants and the defendant will pay legal and settlement fees on their own both for the first and second trials.
Section 8. The official document of this settlement is written in Japanese.
The Chinese survivors and the bereaved families who underwent ordeals at Hanaoka Mine Branch of Kajima-gumi Corp. 1944-1945 have come to Japan to visit Kajima Construction Corp. this time and we discussed to agree as follows, so we announce hereby;
1. Kajima Construction Corp. admit the historical fact that the Chinese underwent ordeals at the work site of Hanaoka Mine Branch caused by the compulsory transfer and the forced labor grounded on the decision by the Cabinet Meeting of the Japanese government (1942), recognize the responsibility of the company for it, and express the deepest apology to the concerned Chinese survivors and the bereaved families.
2. The Chinese survivors and the bereaved families have sent an open letter dated Dec.22nd last year to Kajima Construction Corp.based on the above-mentioned fact. Kajima Construction Corp. admit that this issue should be solved by the negotiation between the two parties.
3. The two parties will continue the negotiation with the survivors bereaved families including their deputies to solve the issue as soon as possible based on the above-mentioned and the spirit saying "Preparing for the future by not forgetting the past”(the late premier Zhou Enlai ).
July 5th 1990 In Tokyo
On behalf of the Chinese survivors and the bereaved families of Hanaoka Incident
Lin Bo Yao
As deputies for the Chinese survivors and the bereaved families of Hanaoka Incident
Representative director & Vice-President of Kajima Construction Corp.
Statement by Niimi Takashi, Attorney for Plaintiffs
On the occasion of reaching the settlement
Tokyo, Japan, November 29, 2000
1. On the occasion of reaching today's settlement, I, as the attorney for eleven appellants (plaintiffs) and also for the Chinese Red Cross, would like to make the following statement.
Today's settlement, which was awaited by many people in Japan and abroad, is literally a landmark settlement with a historical significance. It has been more than a year since the Tokyo High Court Civil Division 17, in their capacity as a mediator, issued a recommendation for a settlement on September 10, 1999. It is most unfortunate that three of the plaintiffs, Mr. Meng Han Wu and Mr. Wang Ming who passed away during the settlement talks and Mr. Li Ke Jin who passed away during the trail at the Tokyo District Court, did not live to see today's settlement. During the yearlong talks for a settlement we went through "labor to produce something new," a process that must be experienced by those who tried to break new ground.
Today's settlement signifies that we must resolve issues resulting from the Sino-Japanese War and that we can do so from the point of view of goodwill between Japan and China. As the Court stated so eloquently, I firmly believe that today's settlement represents a shining example of a bridge that would further promote goodwill between Japan and China in the coming century.
I would like to express my sincere gratitude for those people in Japan and abroad who supported our case.
I would like to express my admiration for the board members of Kajima Corporation who recognized the significance of this settlement and decided to resolve the 50-year-old problem once and for all.
My heartfelt appliciation also goes to the three-judge panel of the Tokyo High Court Civil Division 17 led by Chief Judge Niimura for their recognition of the historical importance of resolving the Hanaoka incident and their firm belief and determination with which they guided patiently all the parties involved in this extremely difficult settlement talk. I would like to express my deepest respect for them for fulfilling their duty by clearly demonstrating that the Japanese judicial branch has a sound historical understanding and willingness to rule based on such
2. Please refer to the chronological table of the Hanaoka Incident for events leading up to today's settlement.
3. On provisions of the settlement
Section 1. The joint statement issued on July 5, 1990 ushered in a new era of the movement seeking postwar compensations, and sent a powerful impact into various parts of the society. This statement was made following the open letter of demand submitted on December 22, 1989 by the survivors, including Mr. Geng Zhun, and was based on the noble philosophy taught by the late premier Zhou Enlai -"Preparing for the future by not forgetting the past."
As for the proviso that touches on the legal responsibility, it does not represent an acknowledgment by the plaintiffs that Kajima bears no legal responsibility, but was written after they refused to make such an acknowledgment sought by Kajima.
Never in the history of postwar compensation settlement in Japan has there been a single case where any sort of responsibility, not to mention legal responsibility, was addressed. In the case of German forced labor foundation, acknowledging the absence of legal responsibility was also the prerequisite for the settlement. Against this background, this proviso, together with the joint statement that reaffirmed the settlement though a lawsuit, is of great significance.
Section 2. The most significant characteristic of the settlement has to do its scope where a settlement is sought not only for the eleven plaintiffs but also for all the victims. Joining in this legal scheme as the representative and the recipient of the trust fund is the Chinese Red Cross that has long been involved in the issue of Chinese forced labor and has an outstanding record in the field of international human rights.
As the memorandum issued by the Courts states, the amount to be placed into the trust fund was suggested by the Court after it conducted a comprehensive review including examination of similar cases abroad. It is my understanding that the court's decision has taken into consideration the uncertainty as to the practicality of investigating each of 986 victims after fifty-five years.
It is true that there was strong reluctance on the part of the plaintiffs to accept the amount of the fund, but understanding the Court's firm belief and determination and appreciating the historical significance of the settlement, they agreed. (Incidentally, the total amount sought by the eleven plaintiffs in this case was $545,000 excluding the attorney's fee.)
Section 4. The fund will be called as "Hanaoka Peace and Goodwill Foundation" and will be managed by a committee. The committee will consist of no more than nine members who will be selected by the appellants (plaintiffs). Kajima Corporation retains the right to send one member to the committee if it so desires. A process of selecting committee members will begin immediately following today's announcement. Each victim will receive payment, amount of which will be determined by the committee. A portion of the fund will also be used for projects planned by the Foundation.
Section 5. Guaranteeing comprehensiveness of the settlement
Although Kajima Corporation had expressed in the joint statement issued on July 5, 1990 their candid acknowledgment of historical facts and deep remorse for them, they repeatedly made certain arguments (not necessarily legal arguments) during the trial that were inconsistent with the spirit of the joint statement. I must say that the Chinese victims were very disturbed by it and as a result their trust in Kajima was severely damaged.
There is no doubt that it requires a great deal of courage to transform a long time hostile relation into a friendly one. It is my sincere desire that Kajima Corporation, starting with today's settlement, will face up to the historical truth and walk honorably the highroad of advancing goodwill between Japan and China.
Brief History of Hanaoka/Kajima and the Chinese victims
Cabinet meeting authorized the conscription of Chinese workers to Japan
986 Chinese people were forcibly taken to Hanaoka labor camp in Odate, operated by Kajima-gumi, the predecessor of today's Kajima Corp., a major construction company in Japan
1945 June 30th
Uprising known as the Hanaoka Incident, a riot against cruel working conditions and inhuman treatments. Five Japanese mining supervisors were killed.
1945 15th August Japan lost the war
1945 11th September
Akita district court found the Chinese riot leaders, Mr.Geng Zhun and others of guilty
American military found the dormitory called “Chyuzan-ryo”, a kind of concentration camp, where Chinese forced laborers lived.
Beginning of investigation of Hanaoka Incident as war crime (Of the 986 Chinese workers taken to the mines between August and June 1945, 418 are said to have died there by December 1945, including those killed after the riot)
1948 1st March
At the War Crime Tribunal of American 8th military, Masatoshi Kono and others, who were responsible for the Kajima-gumi work site, were convicted (three company staff supervised the workers were sentenced to death by hanging, one was sentenced to imprisonment for life, two policemen were sentenced to 20 years' imprisonment)
Founding of the Peoples’ Republic of China.
Kajima constructed a memorial tower for the victims in the precincts of a Buddhist temple, Shinshoji in Hanaoka.
Bone of Chinese victims sent to China (Contact point on Chinese side was Chinese Red Cross)
China-Japanese Joint Communique
China-Japanese Peace & Friendship Treaty
1989 22nd December
Mr.Geng Zhun and others, survivors of the Hanaoka Incident, in an open letter made a three point demand: a public apology, compensations from Kajima Corp., establishing their memorial museum for education.
1990 5th July
"Joint statement" by Chinese survivors and Kajima Corp.
Chinese survivors announced the cessation of negotiations with Kajima Corp.
1995 28th June
A total of 11 Chinese survivors and the next of kin of those who died, led by 81 year-old Geng Zhun, filed a suit with the Tokyo District courts asking for a total of 60.5 million in compensation (first lawsuit by Chinese survivors)
1997 10th December
Tokyo District Court rejected the claim without hearing any testimony from survivors, saying forced labor in Japan ended in 1948 and the statute of limitations on the case had to be appllied.
1997 12th December
Plaintiffs appealed against the judgment made by the division of Tokyo District Court to Tokyo High Court. ( The case was assigned to the 17th civil affairs division of Tokyo High Court.)
1998 15th July
First review on the appeal in the Tokyo High Court (since then oral proceedings have been held 6 times)
1999 10th September
Judge Masato Niimura in the Tokyo High Court recommended that that a settlement be pursued on the court’s official capacity
1999 16th December
Chinese Red Cross officially announced that they would join the process of settlement as an interested party
2000 21st April
Tokyo High Court gave a recommended compromise plan to representatives of all parties.
2000 31st May
Chinese Red Cross replied to the High Court that they had no objection to the plan of the Tokyo High Court
2000 10th November
The final High Court-mediated plan was given to representatives of all parties.
2000 21st November
All parties confirmed the terms of the settlement in the official plan
2000 29th November
Kajima and Chinese group, representing survivors and relatives of the deceased, finally made the settlement at the Tokyo High Court