TOKYO - Japan's top court on Friday rejected two compensation claims by
Chinese who suffered at Japanese hands during World War Two, as Prime Minister
Shinzo Abe tried to soothe anger in Washington over his comments on wartime sex
Shao Yicheng (3rd R), a former slave labourer, and other
plaintiffs enter the Supreme Court in Tokyo April 27, 2007. Chinese slave
labourers who were forced to work in Japan during World War Two lost their
bid for compensation on Friday when the Supreme Court overturned a
landmark ruling that had ordered a Japanese company to pay them. The
banner reads, "Demand respect and justice for slave labourers".
Supreme Court rulings against forced labourers and women forced into sexual
servitude will effectively halt a raft of wartime damages cases being fought
mainly by Chinese and Koreans, because lower courts look to the top court for
Two Chinese women who were kidnapped and forced to provide sex for Japanese
soldiers during World War Two lost their Supreme Court appeal for damages. That
claim had already been settled under a 1972 Japan-China joint statement, the
Their lawyer called on the government nonetheless to provide some form of
damages to the surviving of the two women, who is 80 years old.
"I hope that the government admits to the truth and takes specific measures
to compensate the victim while she is in good health," said lawyer Sadahiko
In another case, five Chinese who were forced to work for
Japanese firm Nishimatsu Construction Co. Ltd. during World War Two lost their
fight for compensation when the Supreme Court overturned a landmark ruling that
had ordered the company to pay them.
That claim had also been settled under the 1972 joint statement, the court
"The ruling is disgraceful in light of friendly relations between Japan and
China," said Shinzo Tsuchiya, a supporter of the former labourers.