Court says Japanese Army waged germ warfare but rejects Chinese claim for compensation

The Tokyo District Court on August 27 acknowledged that the Japanese Imperial Army used bacteriological weapons during its aggression in China in WWII under an "Imperial Headquarters" order.

But the court rejected the 180 Chinese plaintiffs' claim that the Japanese government should pay 1.8 billion yen (15.25 million dollars) in compensation and apologize to families of Chinese victims of the bacteriological warfare.

The court ruling said that war victims cannot individually demand compensation from an aggressor country, that the question of Japan's responsibility has already been settled by the Japan-China Peace and Friendship Treaty, the prewar Japanese government was not liable for any illegal use of public authority, and the Diet is not to blame for any illegal forbearance.

The plaintiffs' lawyers group was appreciative that the court admitted the facts regarding the germ warfare but criticized the court for using old logics to justify the judgment.

The plaintiffs will appeal to a higher court. (end)