Subject: [cwj 14] Chinese Workers Sue Mitsui Mining Co. Over WWII Forced Labor
From: Corporate Watch in Japanese <>
Date: Wed, 10 May 2000 12:14:28 -0700
Seq: 14

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Wednesday May 10 10:52 AM ET 

Chinese Workers Sue Japan Over WWII

By YURI KAGEYAMA, Associated Press Writer 

TOKYO (AP) - Nine Chinese who were forcibly brought to Japan in the 1940s
to work in coal mines filed a lawsuit against the Japanese government and a
mining company Wednesday, asking for $1.9 million in compensation and a
public apology.

The lawsuit was filed in Fukuoka District Court by Zhang Baoheng and eight
others, who now live in China's Hebei Province and Beijing. The suit says
that in 1943 and 1944, the nine were forced to work in two mines run by
Mitsui Mining Co. and were given hardly any food or rest.

The Japanese military captured tens of thousands of Chinese during World
War II and forced many to work in mines and other businesses. Zhang and the
others were only 18 to 22 years old when they were taken to Miike and
Tagawa mines in Fukuoka Prefecture, 560 miles southwest of Tokyo, the suit

Mitsui Mining Co. refused to comment, saying it had yet to see the suit.

Despite criticism both at home and abroad that Japan has not fully shown
remorse for its wartime brutality, Tokyo has insisted that the issue of
damages was settled in postwar treaties. The government has refused to pay
individuals damages.

Hajime Matsuoka, an attorney for the Chinese men, said the lawsuit
represents the plight not only of his clients but of the tens of thousands
who were forcibly brought to Japan.

``Japan must pay damages and apologize for the invasion and inhumane acts
committed during the war that have gone addressed,'' Matsuoka said in a
telephone interview. ``We must resolve this unfinished business quickly.''

Several cases involving Chinese wartime forced labor are pending in
Japanese courts. 
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