Bombing survivors lose lawsuit

By Hu Qingyun Source:Global Times Published: 2015-2-26 0:48:02

Victims of Japan’s wartime attacks will appeal: lawyer

Survivors of the bombing of Chongqing during World War II on Wednesday lost their lawsuit against the Japanese government over its wartime assaults on the city, a court in Tokyo announced.

Tokyo District Court rejected the plaintiffs' claims saying that the bombings were inevitable during wartime, said Lin Gang, a lawyer for the plaintiffs.

A total of 188 plaintiffs, who filed the lawsuit in April 2014, requested the Japanese government apologize for the bombings and demanded 10 million yen ($84,200) for each survivor as compensation.

The court also noted that the government is not responsible for such civil compensation claims as the Chinese government forfeited its right to make claims for compensation according to the 1972 Japan-China joint statement that was issued when the two countries established diplomatic relations, Lin told the Global Times.

"The survivors are angry about the verdict. Individual citizens are not under any restriction in the 1972 Japan-China joint statement. They will appeal," Lin said, adding that they are not satisfied with the proceedings as the court has changed the judges presiding over the case several times.

Along with lawyers and relatives of the bombing victims, Su Yuankui and Wei Zhaoping, representatives of the plaintiffs that attended the trial on Wednesday, protested outside the court after the verdict was announced.  

Su and Wei were quoted by the People's Daily on Wednesday as saying that they will keep appealing this decision until the Japanese government apologizes.

Survivors and relatives of victims from Chongqing and nearby areas formed a group in April 2004 to sue the Japanese government over the bombing campaign. Four lawsuits against the Japanese government have been made in the past decade but all have failed.

Lin said that they plan to protest outside Japan's foreign ministry in Tokyo and talk with Japanese lawmakers about the case on Thursday.

From February 1938 to August 1943, the Imperial Japanese Army Air Service and Navy Air Service conducted massive aerial attacks against Chongqing and its adjacent areas with over 11,500 bombs dropped.

Residential areas, business districts, schools and hospitals were the main targets of the raids in which tens of thousands of civilians were killed.

Lin argued that the bombing of Chongqing went against various international conventions which ban indiscriminate bombing and therefore the Japanese government need to take responsibility for the actions of their predecessors.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been urged many times to clearly uphold the 1995 Murayama Statement.

The 1995 Murayama Statement was an apology for the country's wartime acts. There are increasing concerns that Abe will use ambiguous wording when describe Japan's wrongdoings in a new statement that is planned to be issued this summer.

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