Friday, 28 March 2014

World War II-Era Forced Labor Case Hits Chinese Courts

After 70 years, Japan's cruelty to humans is being challenged in the courts. At last this country is being brought to account for its cruelty to humans, whales and other mamals.Maybe they will pay, as the New Zealand Government is for abuses of indigenous people, in this case over 160 years ago.

Murray Kibblewhite
The Minke Connection

A Beijing court is set to hear what could become a landmark legal case as 40 Chinese former forced laborers and descendants of forced laborers are demanding reparations for their time spent working for two Japanese companies during the Second World War. The case comes in the midst of growing diplomatic tensions between Japan and China, and adds more hostility to the already fraught diplomatic relations even as First Lady Michelle Obama arrives in China on a state visit. If the judge rules in favor of the workers, it’s likely to spark a considerable diplomatic furor, as well as setting a distinctive legal precedent.

World War II-era Japan was a rapidly expanding empire with ever-growing labor needs as it sent more and more of its able-bodied personnel to the front. Consequently, the nation turned to the regions it was annexing, such as Manchuria, for sources of forced labor. In addition to the so-called “comfort women” drawn from regions like South Korea, companies like Mitsubishi and the Nippon Coke and Engineering Company (then Mitsui Mining), the ones involved in this case, used Chinese forced labor in their factories.

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