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HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 August 12 - 18  > Civilian war victims and ex-Korean war criminals: Gov’t should swiftly compensate for damages
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2020 August 12 - 18 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Civilian war victims and ex-Korean war criminals: Gov’t should swiftly compensate for damages

August 13, 2020

Four civil groups working on the issue of state compensation to civilian war victims and former non-Japanese war criminals on August 12 jointly held a press conference in the Diet building to urge the Diet to convene an extraordinary session without delay and take the initiative to address the problem.

At the press conference, one of the four, the “Support and Documentation Center for ex-POWs and Internees by Soviet Russia after the WWII, Japan (SDCPIS)” called for amending the 2010 special measures law regarding former Japanese POWs in Siberia. It also demanded revision of an agreement regarding former internees which was made in 1991 between Tokyo and Moscow. Explaining the reason for these demands, SDCPIS member and ex-POW Nishikura Masaru, 95, pointed out that under the current law, former POWs who came from the Japanese colonies or the occupied territories are not eligible to receive special benefits. He also said that the government project to collect remains of Japanese in Russia based on the bilateral agreement has made little progress.

The 95-year-old head of the group of former Korean Class-B and C war criminals (Dongjinhoe), Lee Hak-rae, in his video message demanded a swift decision by the Japanese government to settle the compensation issue.

From an Okinawan group calling for state compensation to civilian war victims, lawyer Zukeyama Shigeru pointed out that in many legal battles waged by Okinawans to win government compensation for damage caused in the Battle of Okinawa, the courts overlooked the government responsibility while acknowledging inhumane wrongdoing committed by the former Imperial Japanese military. He said that the creation of a new law is the only way to win state compensation.

Lawyer Kuroiwa Tetsuhiko, who works for a nationwide liaison council for air raid victims, stressed the need to create legislation that provides compensation and relief to all air raid survivors and bereaved families in this year marking the 75th anniversary since the end of WWII.

Past related articles:
> Gov’t should wholeheartedly work to bring back remains of ex-Japanese POWs in Siberia [October 25, 2019]
> Government should end its disregard of civilian victims of air raids during war [March 10, 2019]
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