Group to sue for forced war work

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 14 September, 2002, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 14 September, 2002, 12:00am

A group of Shanghai residents plans to file a lawsuit against Japanese companies for forcing them to work as labourers in Japan during World War II, the group's lawyer and local media said.

It would be the first time a group composed of just Shanghai-area residents have filed a wartime compensation lawsuit, though there were several such suits by Chinese against the Japanese government or firms, said Zhu Miaochun of the Tianhong Law Firm.

The group aimed to file the lawsuit at a court in the Japanese city of Fukuoka for being forced to work for several companies, including Mitsubishi Mining, in the area in the 1940s, he said.

Mr Zhu did not give a timetable for when the lawsuit would be filed, but he said he would meet a Japanese legal group this month to discuss strategy.

The law firm had compiled a list of 56 forced labourers, but would file a suit on behalf of just 15 of them as a test case, he said. The 15 people were each demanding one million yuan (HK$940,000) in compensation.

In April, a Japanese court ordered Mitsui Mining Co to pay compensation to 15 Chinese men who were forced to labour in the company's mines during World War II.

But the court rejected demands for compensation from the Japanese government.