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Japan high court denies compensation claims by WWII slave laborers

[JURIST] The Supreme Court of Japan denied compensation claims made by five Chinese wartime slave laborers Friday, ruling that companies that utilized Chinese individuals were not obligated to provide compensation because the 1972 Joint Communique of the Government of Japan and the Government of the People's Republic of China [text] renounced Chinese claims for war reparations from Japan. The ruling by the top court reversed a lower court ruling that awarded the five forced laborers a total of $230,300 in compensation for their suffering.

In March, a Japanese district court dismissed a similar claim by Chinese nationals [JURIST report] against Mitsubishi Metals Corporation because the 20-year deadline for filing compensation claims under Japanese law had expired. That decision followed another March ruling by the Tokyo High Court which held that the present Japanese government was not accountable for wrongs committed by Japan's wartime leaders, thereby overturning [JURIST report] a landmark decision that held both the Japanese government and a corporation responsible for forcing Chinese citizens into slave labor during World War II. AP has more.

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