Home>News Center>China

Legal team to assist gas leak victims
(China Daily)
Updated: 2004-03-09 01:24

A special legal team will be set up in Japan to help protect the rights of Chinese victims who suffered from a toxic gas leak which came from Japanese chemical weapons abandoned during the World War II.

Japanese lawyers Minami Norio and Onodera Toshi gave this promise on Sunday while they were investigating the matter with their Chinese counterparts on the case in Qiqihar in Northeast China's Heilongjiang Province. They will gather evidence on the case for compensation from the Japanese Government, according to a Xinhua News Agency website report.

They said the new special legal team has been designed to help the Chinese victims file their case in Japanese courts.

The two lawyers have been to Heilongjiang on several occasions to collect evidence which can prove the fact that abandoned Japanese chemical weapons have been harming Chinese people.

They said they were not only helping Chinese victims, but the Japanese people as well because the attitudes of Japanese politicians today have not earned much respect from the Asian public.

A leak killed one person and injured 43 others when barrels of mustard gas were dug up at a construction site in Qiqihar on August 4 of last year. The victims decided to sue the Japanese Government last October.

Chinese and Japanese lawyers found another child victim of the gas leak over the weekend while they were investigating the case in Qiqihar.

Zhai Jiayu, 11, made a clay toy tank on August 4 when he was playing at the construction site which was contaminated by the chemicals. He brought the toy tank home, with his family members feeling dizzy the following day. There were also purple and red marks on Zhai's hands.

Local hospital staff said that Zhai might have been slightly harmed by mustard gas, and let him go home for further observation.

Late last year, Zhai frequently felt cold, tired, dizzy and sleepy. Doctors said these symptoms were similar with that of mustard gas poisoning. They suggested Zhai should undergo further immune system and blood cell testing to confirm the diagnosis.

The Chinese and Japanese lawyers have said they would also make further investigations into Zhai's case.

A legal team consisting of 300 Japanese lawyers had been established in 1995 to offer free legal aid for the Chinese victims. The team has been engaged in nearly 30 lawsuits filed by Chinese victims, ranging from labour disputes to chemical weapons complaints.

  Today's Top News     Top China News

Pakistanis may be near bin Laden's aide al-Zawahri



Government relaxes control of airfares, finally



U.S. launches WTO complaint against China



Report: China, Iran sign US$20b gas deal



FM to pay official visit to DPRK



women bosses urged to date and marry


  FM to pay official visit to DPRK
  As kids keep on calling, experts worry
  Gov'ts urged to clear up payments in arrears
  Sino-US trade advances amid problems
  Police website builds bridges to community
  Drought worsens capital water crisis
  Go to Another Section  
  Story Tools  
  News Talk  
  Staking a whole generation of Chinese entrepreneurs