Scholars to testify for victims of Japanese aggression
                 English.news.cn | 2014-04-15 22:48:54 | Editor: yan

CHONGQING, April 15 (Xinhua) -- A group of Chinese scholars will testify in court to help victims of Japan's wartime bombings of Chongqing win their compensation lawsuits against the Japanese government.

The Tokyo District Court is scheduled to start hearings on Wednesday and more than 10 scholars are expected in court in the following two and three months. They will present the history of Japanese troops' repeated bombings of the southwestern Chinese city between 1938 and 1944.

Testimonies of the experts who have long researched the catastrophe will supplement those previously made by Chinese victims, said Lin Gang, a lawyer representing the plaintiffs, who are members of a non-government group for the bombing victims.

"The experts will provide the judge with a whole picture of the aggressors' atrocities, and identification of historical facts is crucial to our success," Lin said.

Between March 2006 and October 2009, 188 bombing victims of the group, which was set up in 2004, filed lawsuits to the Tokyo court in four batches, each demanding 10 million yen (98,000 U.S. dollars) in compensation and an apology from the Japanese government.

During previous court hearings, 24 plaintiffs testified their experiences in the bombings and the physical and mental suffering they endured.

Historical data showed that nearly seven years of air-strikes, including large-scale, indiscriminate bombings from 1939 to 1941, left more than 30,000 people dead or injured in Chongqing, which was made a "wartime capital" by the Kuomintang government in 1940, and in its neighboring areas, such as Chengdu and Leshan cities.

Along with scholars, the group's head Su Yuankui will also testify in court. "I will demand justice for all victims of Japan's bombings of Chongqing," said the 80-year-old man who lost two family members and an apartment in the attack.

Lin Gang said the case might conclude at the end of the year but he was not optimistic about the result. The lawyer said the "apathy and delaying tactics" of the Japanese government are major barriers to the victims' litigations.

Despite the "small" likelihood of winning the cases, Lin said, "the process is as important as the result."

He believes the laborious proceedings served as an important channel for exploring and releasing facts about Japanese intruders' crimes and predicaments of the Chinese victims.

"We also want more Japanese people to learn about the true history and maintain peace with us hand in hand," said Jiang Wanxi, an 83-year-old victim. Jiang's elder brother and his brother's wife who was eight months pregnant died in the bombing.

Over the past two decades, Chinese victims of the War of Resistance Against Japan (1937-1945) have filed nearly 30 claims in Japan for being used by aggressors as forced labor, sex slaves or human guinea pigs for chemical or biological weapons, but none of the cases ended in success.

The Japanese courts dismissed the demands for damages because they believed a 1972 bilateral agreement nullified Chinese rights to seek war-related compensation, while Chinese victims and lawyers argued the Chinese government only gave up compensation for the state, not for individuals.

As the court battles continue, however, the victims are struggling to wait. "Some plaintiffs of our group have passed away, and many are plagued by serious health problems," Jiang said.

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