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Chinese gas victims lose compensation claim

09-22-2012 19:25 BJT

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By CCTV reporter Bi Jianlu

In Japan, the Tokyo District Court has rejected demands for more compensation by Chinese victims of mustard gas left behind from the Japanese occupation. It is the second time the district court has rejected the victims’ demands. One man died and 43 people were made sick by a toxic leak in Qiqihar in the northeast China in 2003. The mustard gas leaked from five canisters of unused Japanese munitions that were unearthed at a construction site. Families in Qiqihar began building their case against the Japanese government in 2005 and filed their suit in Tokyo in January 2007. Bi Jianlu tells us more.

The attorneys representing the Chinese victims of Japanese poison gas have collected evidence for two years.

But the Tokyo District Court upheld its first ruling.

The victims, who were in court for the announcement, say they cannot accept the judgement.

Ding Shuwen, Victim of Japan mustard gas said, “I am very dissatisfied with the ruling. I am weighed down. This feeling is shared by 40 other victims and our families.”

Dong Fenhong, Victim said, “The court knows we are victims and the facts are clear. It acknowledges the facts but can not find a solution. So we feel the Japanese government should be very sorry for us.”

The Court says the Japanese government did not have enough information to be able to predict the the accident, so it cannot be held responsible.

The Japanese attorney who has been assisting the victims questions the ruling.

He says Qiqihar was an important base for producing chemical weapons when Japan invaded China in the 1930s. The Japanese government should have detailed records of the mustard gas it left behind, should know of the dangers and inform the Chinese government.

The attorneys found evidence in libraries and the reference room of Japan’s Defense Ministry.

Japanese Attorney said, “We have made great efforts to collect all this evidence possessed by the government. We filed it with the court and the court finally accepted the facts. But the government takes no responsibility. It did not release the files, which would have prevented the accident. We, as a civil organization, can find the evidence. But the government has not done it. So its attitude is the biggest problem.”

The attorney says the judges behaved very differently when they announced the judgment, from their previous of kindness.

As the tension escalates between China and Japan on the Diaoyu Islands issue, a Chinese attorney says there is a political dimension to the judgement.

Editor:Wang Shuo |Source: CCTV.com

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