Pingdingshan massacre survivor dies

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 25 May, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 25 May, 2005, 12:00am

Mo Desheng , one of the few survivors of a 1932 massacre of about 3,000 villagers by the Japanese army, died in Fushun , Liaoning province , on Monday at the age of 81, Xinhua reported.

He was one of three plaintiffs seeking 60 million yen ($4.34 million) in compensation and an apology from the Japanese government in a marathon lawsuit launched in 1996.

Mo was about seven years old when the massacre took place in Pingdingshan village, Fushun, on September 16, 1932. According to Chinese historians, about 3,000 villagers were massacred by Japanese soldiers, who claimed they had colluded with guerilla forces.

Mo lost his grandparents, parents and three-year-old sister.

'Since that morning, the sorrow and pain have never left me,' he told a Tokyo court in 1997.

Two weeks ago, the Tokyo High Court recognised the Japanese had carried out the massacre but upheld a ruling by a lower court in 2002 and rejected the claim for compensation.

Even on his death bed, Mo was indignant over the court ruling.

Yang Baoshan and Fang Surong , the two remaining plaintiffs, are 84 and 79 years old respectively. Despite Mo's death and the difficulty they encountered in fighting the lawsuit, Mr Yang said they would continue to fight, appealing against the Tokyo High Court decision.

It is believed only five people survived the Pingdingshan massacre.