• Fri
  • Dec 26, 2014
  • Updated: 1:46am

Mitsui payment of compensation after ship seizure could prompt more suits

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 24 April, 2014, 10:41am
UPDATED : Friday, 25 April, 2014, 3:32am

A Japanese shipping company has paid about three billion yen (HK$227 million) for the release of its ship, ordered seized by a Shanghai court over a wartime commercial dispute, boosting the morale of lawyers and activists who want to sue Japanese entities in Chinese courts.

A statement by the Shanghai court yesterday said Saturday’s order to impound the ship was lifted after the owner of ore carrier Baosteel Emotion, Mitsui OSK, paid 2.9 billion Japanese yen in compensation and 2.4 million yuan (HK$3 million) in litigation fees.

Lin Xiaoguang, an international relations expert at the Central Party School, said the Chinese government would not demand wartime reparations from Japan, as agreed when diplomatic relations were re-established in 1972.

“But we can see that the courts are more willing to accept these [civil] cases,” he said. “They [courts] usually did not when bilateral ties were good.”

Li Yiqiang, secretary general of the World Chinese Alliance in Defence of the Diaoyu Islands, said the group was considering suing Japan in Chinese courts because its vessels had been seized or damaged. The Diaoyu Islands in the East China Sea are also claimed by Japan, which calls them the Senkaku Islands.

“The Shanghai court ruling is encouraging. We are considering taking two cases to local courts,” Li said, without giving details.

In February, a court in Beijing for the first time accepted a lawsuit against two Japanese companies brought by 40 Chinese people who were forced into labour during the war.

Kang Jian, a lawyer working on the case, said the suit focused on the mental suffering the labour had caused, noting that it was not a contractual dispute, but the Shanghai court ruling was still important. “The Shanghai case shows Japanese companies have to abide by Chinese court decisions or they will face other court orders,” he said.


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Finally Chinese victims of Japanese thievery and aggression are getting some form of redress albeit at a very late stage. Still it is better to be late than not at all. Chinese justice have finally arrived to serve the oppressed peoples of the world recover their losses inflicted by oppressors like the Japanese war-mongers and pirates. The long arm of the law finally catches up with some of the law breakers. Hopefully more such cases will be decided by Chinese courts to uphold justice for the victims of Japanese aggression.
A new page in the great shakedown. How about the Chinese railway bonds from the 1920s and 1930s which the government defaulted on? How about similar crimes by the government against its own people? No, I suppose those don't count. Justice is unilateral I suppose.
You have diverted to attention to a different problem.
Let's face the foreign "aggression" first.
Of course, there are many unsettled problems in China as well as elsewhere in the world. But, the aggressor must be dealed with first. It is a common sense approach.
Please do not add any confusion at this time.

Dispassionate legal recourse is what China's agrieved citizens should seek. The Chinese approach has so far been completely lopsided (China lost her last great philosopher when Mr. Mao passed away in 1976). If Japan does not apologize for its war-time crimes, it hurts Japan's karma and should be Japan's problem; China's has made Japan's problem her own problem by having to beg Japan to apologize...we Chinese people are good at making things more complicated for ourselves...aren't we??
Yes, China forced a Japanese shipping company to pay HK$227 million for the release of its ship.
Since the Chinese courts are more willing to accept civil cases,
"the morale of lawyers and activists who want to sue Japanese entities" has been raised.
Chinese can be very short-sighted.
Do Chinese think Japan [Westerners] did not learn anything from this swindle?
Impounding ships outside of outstanding treaties is a dangerous game and would have had to been allowed by the Politburo Standing Committee.
Exquisite distinguishing away of this confiscation in Shanghai by saying: "This instance is different" fools no one. Every foreign-invested enterprise in China sees this and plans accordingly by hedging its bets.

Will an economy existing essentially of state-owned enterprises be able to take up the slack if foreign investment slows and capital begins to flow outward? I suspect that, over the next decade, we will see whether a high-tax, more isolated Chinese economy with shrinking levels of foreign investment and a far higher PLA budget -- and, perhaps, slower growth in Chinese exports -- can sustain a 7% growth rate.
Odd name, "Mikado" is another name for the Japanese Emperor...


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