TOKYO, Oct. 23 (Xinhua) -- Nishimatsu Construction Co. secured a reconciliation Friday with wartime Chinese laborers, agreeing to pay 250 million yen (2.74 million U.S. dollars) to the war victims.
According the reconciliation agreement signed by the two sides at a Tokyo court, Nishimatsu, which offered the reconciliation talks in April, issues an apology to the laborers and pledges to build a memorial for them.
In April 2007, Japan's Supreme Court turned down the damage lawsuit filed by former Chinese laborers who were forced to work in Japan during World War II and families of deceased laborers.
The top court ruled that Chinese individuals have no right to judicially claim war reparations from Japan because China has given up the right under the Japan-China Joint Statement signed in 1972.
In 1944, some 360 Chinese were forced by Nishimatsu Construction to go and labor under severe conditions in a working site in Hiroshima prefecture. Among those forced to Japan by Nishimatsu, 29 laborers died either due to torture or on the ship back to China when Japan was defeated in 1945.
In 1998, the five plaintiffs demanded the Nishimatsu apologize and pay damages of 5.5 million yen (60,439 U.S. dollars) for each.
The High Court of west Japan's Hiroshima prefecture awarded damages in full to the five plaintiffs in July 2004, marking the first time a Japan high court has ordered the defendant in a series of lawsuits involving forced laborers to pay damages to the plaintiffs.
However, Nishimatsu Co. did not accept the ruling and appealed to the Supreme Court for final rulings.