Subject: [cwj 137] High court rejects ex-sex slaves' appeal
From: Corporate Watch in Japanese <>
Date: Thu, 07 Dec 2000 14:10:15 -0800
Seq: 137

December 7, 2000
Japan Times

High court rejects ex-sex slaves' appeal 
Ruling says time for seeking redress over; no finding of fact conducted

The Tokyo High Court on Wednesday rejected an appeal filed by
46 Filipino women seeking 920 million yen in compensation for
having been forced to provide sex to Japanese soldiers during the

The court upheld an Oct. 9, 1998, Tokyo District Court ruling that
rejected their suit. The plaintiffs said they would appeal the latest
decision in the Supreme Court.

Presiding Judge Masato Niimura said in Wednesday's ruling: "In
light of international law, individuals are not granted the right to
demand compensation from the country that did them harm. Also,
the period for demanding compensation has already expired."

The women claimed the Japanese military confined and forced
them to provide sex for its soldiers after Japan occupied the
Philippines in 1942, when some of the plaintiffs were only 10
years old.

The women argued that Japan is obliged to compensate them
because sexual slavery violates a 1907 treaty and international rules
that protect civilians in military-occupied territories. Japanese and
Philippine laws were also invoked in the suit.

The government said international laws stipulate rules to be
followed by countries and do not cover individuals demanding
compensation. The district court dismissed the case without
conducting a finding of fact in the hearings.

Eighteen women filed the suit in April 1993, and 28 others joined
six months later. Ten of them died before the lower court's ruling,
including Maria Rosa Henson, the first Filipino woman to come
forward and talk about being a sex slave in a Japanese military

Seven other cases dealing with demands for compensation and
apologies from Tokyo have been filed by former "comfort
women," as Japan euphemistically referred to them, and are
pending before Japanese courts.

The latest ruling is the second at the high court level, following a
rejection handed down last month against a South Korean woman
living in Japan.

On Nov. 30, the Tokyo High Court rejected her demands for a
government apology and 12 million yen in damages for being
treated as a sex slave before and during the war.

Up to 200,000 women, mostly from the Korean Peninsula but also
from other Japanese-occupied lands, are believed to have been
taken to frontline brothels and forced to provide sex for Imperial

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