Monday, 31 December 2007

Reparation for War Crimes

A court in Shanghai held that a Japanese shipping company must pay 190 million yuan to a Chinese family for its breach of a charterparty contract during WWII. The case was said to be the first time Chinese plaintiffs have won a compensation suit against Japanese defendants over wartime misdeeds and was hailed to have set a precedent for compensation claims against Japan. The plaintiffs successfully overcame the statute of limitations in this case because of a special provision in Chinese law which allowed them to bring the lawsuit within two years after the entry into effect of the Chinese civil law statute. That window of opportunities had closed in 1989, and it is doubtful that other Chinese claimants would be able to succeed under the existing law.


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