24 April 2014
CHINA is allowing a growing number of its citizens to sue Japan and its firms for their actions during World War II, opening a new front of contention that is set to further sour relations between the two bickering neighbours.
Until last month, Beijing’s long-standing approach was to dismiss suits by Chinese nationals seeking apology and compensation for Japan’s wartime actions such as forced labour.
This is consistent with its policy not to seek official compensation, as stipulated in the 1972 Japan-China joint communique when the two countries normalised relations. Over the years, Chinese leaders have also been concerned that such emotional and protracted legal battles would hurt bilateral and economic ties.
… “In politically sensitive cases like these, Chinese courts likely consult government agencies or higher-level leaders, so accepting lawsuits reflects a growing readiness by China to allow and passively support civil legal actions against Japan and its firms,” said analyst Li Mingjiang of Nanyang Technological University. “Overall, they can be seen as more politically driven rather than legally driven.”
GPO / IDSS / RSIS / Print
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