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HOME  > Past issues  > 2012 August 15 - 21  > Civilians who survived Battle of Okinawa sue gov’t for apology and compensation
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2012 August 15 - 21 [OKINAWA]

Civilians who survived Battle of Okinawa sue gov’t for apology and compensation

August 16, 2012
Civilian victims of the 1945 Battle of Okinawa and their bereaved families on August 16 filed a lawsuit with the Naha District Court against the government seeking its apology and compensation.

In the latter days of World War II in 1945, Japan fought a fierce battle against the U.S. in Okinawa, and many local civilians were dragged into the battle and killed. Forty plaintiffs, including survivors and orphans, had survived the air raids and bombardments from the sea by the U.S. forces, and the ordering of “mass suicides” by the Japanese Army.

Their petition submitted to the court criticizes the Japanese forces’ actions which had caused many civilian casualties as “wrongful conduct” disclaiming the national responsibility to protect the people. The plaintiffs demand that the government make an apology and pay them 440 million yen in damages. They also claim that the government is to blame for abandoning the sufferers and not providing any form of assistance after the war.

The plaintiffs talked at a news conference about their tragic experiences such as being ejected from caves or robbed of their food by the Japanese Army, and the wiping out of entire families. One of them said, “I hope to win this case in order to have our experience put on the historical record for the whole world to see and so the victims can feel a sense of having their suffering officially acknowledged.”
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