Subject: [cwj 100] Chinese Wartime Laborers Sue Rinko Corp and Japan Government
From: Corporate Watch in Japanese <>
Date: Wed, 13 Sep 2000 11:20:46 -0700
Seq: 100

For more info on forced labor and Japanese corporations, see

Tuesday September 12, 2000
Chinese Wartime Laborers Sue Japan Government 

TOKYO (Reuters) - A group of Chinese citizens filed a lawsuit with a Japanese
court Tuesday, demanding the government and a Japanese company apologize
and offer compensation for slave labor practices during World War Two.

The eight Chinese plaintiffs are seeking a total 175 million yen ($1.65
million) in
compensation from Tokyo and Japanese transport firm Rinko Corp, and an
apology to be run in newspapers, a court official said.

The plaintiffs consist of six former laborers in their 70s, and the wife
and child of
a former Chinese slave laborer who died in April.

The lawsuit said the seven Chinese had been forcibly brought to Japan around
1944 at the age of about 20 and forced to carry cargo at Niigata port on
the Japan
Sea coast.

They argued that they had received no rewards for their work and little
food was
given to them.

Rinko officials declined to comment on the suit.

Apart from Tuesday's case, seven similar lawsuits have been filed with
courts in recent years.

A Japanese government report said Japan drafted some 39,000 Chinese into
forced labor during the war to make up for a labor shortage, and about
6,800 of
them died while working.

Japanese bearings manufacturer Nachi-Fujikoshi Corp agreed in July to pay
million yen ($280,000-$374,000) in compensation to three Korean plaintiffs for
forced labor during World War Two.

A rising number of lawsuits have been brought against the government and
individual companies by wartime laborers and prisoners, but with little

Last May, nine Chinese nationals who said they were forced to work in inhumane
conditions in Japanese mines during World War Two filed a 207 million yen
lawsuit against the Japanese government and Mitsui Mining and Smelting Co
Japan's top zinc refiner.

Several lawsuits have also been filed against Japanese companies in the United
States seeking compensation for activities during World War Two, including
class-action suits filed in California in February against trade houses
Corp and Mitsui & Co.

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