Thirty-seven Chinese citizens filed a lawsuit in a Beijing court on February 26 demanding Japanese apologies and compensation for forced labor during World War II.
It is the first time that forced laborers from China or their relatives have lodged such a class-action case in a Chinese court. Observers said the case will increase pressure on Japan to correct its interpretation of its militarist history.
The forced laborers and their relatives want apologies to be carried by mainstream media outlets in both China and Japan, as well as compensation from Mitsubishi Materials and Mitsui Mining and Smelting.
Dozens of wartime compensation suits have been filed by Chinese and South Korean citizens in Japan, but almost all of them have been rejected by Japanese courts.