[JURIST] Approximately 30 Chinese demonstrators carrying banners massed outside the Japanese embassy in Beijing [official website] Thursday, protesting a April 27 court ruling by the Supreme Court of Japan denying compensation claims [JURIST report] made by five Chinese wartime slave laborers. The compensation claims were denied on the grounds that 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 April ruling reversed a lower court decision that awarded the five slave laborers a total of $230,300 in compensation for their suffering.
Approximately 40,000 Chinese nationals were transported to Japan as slave laborers during World War II and millions across Asia were forced to work by the Japanese military. Japanese courts have dismissed similar claims by Chinese and South Korean nationals [JURIST report] on the grounds that post-war treaties settled compensation claims or that the 20-year deadline for filing compensation claims under Japanese law had expired. AP has more.