CHINA / National

Survivors vow to sue Japan to international court
Updated: 2006-05-19 20:18

Survivors of the Pingdingshan Massacre, in which more than 3,000 Chinese civilians were slaughtered by Japanese soldiers in 1932, say they will bring the Japanese government to international court after their 10-year-long lawsuit for an apology and compensation was rejected by the Japanese Supreme Court.

"We will continue the lawsuit even if we have to go to the international court," said Yang Baoshan, and 83-year-old survivor and spokesperson for the Pingdingshan Massacre claimants.

Three survivors including Yang Baoshan launched their original lawsuit in 1996, demanding the Japanese government admit the crime and apologize and pay survivors compensate of 20 million yen (about 182,000 U.S. dollars).

The Japanese Supreme Court rejected on Tuesday the lawsuit although it acknowledged there was a massacre. It was the third Japanese court to reject the same lawsuit.

The Tokyo District Court and the Tokyo High Court ruled against the plaintiffs in 2002 and 2005. All three courts said that the Japanese government cannot be sued for acts committed prior to the State Compensation Law which was enacted in 1947.

The Pingdingshan massacre is seen as one of the most despicable crimes of World War Two. More than 3,000 women, children and elderly of Pingdingshan Village near Fushun city in northeast China's Liaoning Province, were killed by invading Japanese soldiers on September 16, 1932. The villagers were murdered just a day after the Mid-Autumn Festival which celebrates the harvest moon and for centuries has been a time for family re-unions in China.
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