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UPDATED: 19:09, January 30, 2007
Tokyo Court rejects demand from war-displaced nationals
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The Tokyo District Court on Tuesday turned down a demand from 40 war-displaced Japanese nationals for state compensation over failure to swiftly repatriate them from China after World War II and sufficiently support them after their return.

The judge said in the ruling that the plaintiffs' damages were caused by war and should not be determined as the state's violation of the law.

The plaintiffs are seeking compensation from the state totaling 1.32 billion yen (about 10.9 million U.S. dollars), or 33 million yen (272,700 dollars) each.

The war-displaced Japanese argued in the suit that the state had an obligation to realize their early repatriation, to provide them with language education and to help them become self-reliant, which it failed to meet.

The plaintiffs resettled in Japan between 1975 and 2000. As they could hardly speak Japanese and are mostly out of work due to their age, some 60 percent of them are on welfare, Kyodo News said.

The Japanese government had not started to bring the war orphans to Japan in group visits to search for their kin until 1981. In 1994, Japan instituted a law requiring the central and local governments to provide support for the repatriation of the war-displaced Japanese and to help them become economically self- reliant.

According to Kyodo News, some 2,500 war-displaced Japanese have returned permanently to Japan, out of whom, around 2,200 have sued the state in the past several years, seeking redress for their plight. Their cases are now pending at 14 district courts and one high court.

Source: Xinhua

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