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Japan appeals court dismisses WWII Chinese 'slave labor' claim

[JURIST] The Tokyo High Court [official backgrounder] overturned a landmark decision on Tuesday that had held both the Japanese government and Rinko Corp. [corporate website] responsible for forcing Chinese citizens into slave labor during World War II. The 2004 lower court ruling [JURIST report] mandated that Rinko Corp. and the government of Japan [JURIST news archive] pay the Chinese plaintiffs $760,000 in damages for the offenses. While the court agreed that the government and corporation infringed on the plaintiff's rights, they rejected the claim because the statute of limitations required dismissal.

Earlier this month, the High Court ruled against [JURIST report] a group of Chinese plaintiffs seeking $682,000 in damages for injuries caused by chemical weapons leaks left by the Imperial Japanese Army after WWII. The court upheld a 2003 ruling by a Tokyo district court refusing to award damages, but a lawyer for one of the plaintiffs said the court did acknowledge that the weapons were illegally abandoned in China [JURIST news archive]. AP has more. Japan Today has local coverage.

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