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Chinese seek justice before Japanese court
By Cao Desheng (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-10-23 00:25

Three Chinese germ warfare investigators who have studied the Japanese invasion of China during its invasion in China flew to Japan yesterday to reveal atrocities unleashed by the Japanese army.

The team will testify before a Tokyo High Court that they have found evidence of bacteriological warfare on the Chinese people.

The evidence is being presented in an October 28 hearing in a second trial on the lawsuit lodged by Chinese victims.

Chen Zhiyuan, 50, a history professor at Hunan University of Arts and Science in Changde of Central China's Hunan Province, is expected to appear in court to show evidence of the historic fact.

He has spent more than seven years investigating germ warfare during 1930s and 1940s by visiting the living witnesses of the event and collecting the historic materials.

Accompanying Chen are Lou Xian and Qiu Weizhong from East China's Zhejiang Province, who have also contributed to investigating germ warfare.

From 1936 to 1945, the notorious Japanese Unit 731 of Japanese army conducted biological experiments on live human subjects as it developed its biological weapons. Many Chinese people lost their lives subjected to these cruel experiments.

Since 1995, 180 Chinese victims of the bacteriological war have been involved in a lawsuit against the Japanese government but the latter refused to admit guilt.

On August 27, 2002, the Tokyo District Court rejected a demand for Japanese government compensation in a first trial after some 28 hearings.

However, the court declared for the first time that the deployment of biological weapons (in China in the 1930s and 1940s) was a strategic part of Japanese war plans and was carried out under orders from the central army command.

The hearing is of great importance since it is the last opportunity for Chinese victims to testify at the court in accordance with the Japanese law, Chen Yufang, the secretary-general of the plaintiff's group, told China Daily.

The court will reveal its verdict on December 7, when around 50 Chinese volunteers will go to Japan to support the plaintiff group, she said.

"We are not sure whether we can win the lawsuit in the second trial, but we are ready to continue our efforts until the last victory," Chen said.

To support the Chinese victims in the lawsuit against the Japanese Government, 77-year-old Fang Shiwei from Nanjing, capital of East China's Jiangsu Province, left for Japan Friday.

He will speak at Japanese universities, do interviews with Japanese news outlets and tell the truth about germ warfare to common Japanese.

He witnessed the misery that biological weapons unleashed by the Japanese army imposed upon families in his village in October 1940 when his mother died of anthrax inhalation.

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