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The BBC's Charles Scanlon in Tokyo
"An angry reaction the women and their supporters"
 real 56k

Wednesday, 6 December, 2000, 09:48 GMT
No compensation for Japan sex slaves
Tomasa Saling
Tomasa Saling says she was forced into sexual slavery
A group of Filipino women forced into sexual slavery by Japan's army during World War II have lost their fight for compensation from the government.


I will condemn them 'till I die - the Japanese Government are all criminals

Carmencita Ramel, former Filipino sex slave
The Tokyo High Court said the government had no obligation to pay the 46 women who were demanding 920m yen ($8.3m).

The decision came a day ahead of an international tribunal on Japan's war-time sex crimes.

Last week, the Tokyo court rejected a similar demand for compensation from a group of former Korean sex slaves, also known as comfort women.

Fighting on

The Filipinas said the Japanese military had forced them to provide sex to its soldiers after it occupied the Philippines in 1942.

Comfort women protest
Most claims for compensation have failed
Some were as young as 10 at the time, according to Kyodo news agency.

But Presiding Judge Masato Niimura rejected the group's demands, upholding an earlier ruling by the District Court.

''In light of international law, individuals are not granted the right to demand compensation from the country that did them harm," he said.

"Also, the period for demanding compensation has already expired."

The women said they would take their battle for compensation to the Supreme Court.

"I will condemn them 'till I die - they are all criminals, the Japanese Government," said Carmencita Ramel, one of the plaintiffs.

Tribunal

On Thursday an international people's tribunal will meet in Tokyo where it is expected to condemn Japan's war-time sex crimes against women.

The hearing has no legal force, but is highly symbolic.

Historians say some 200,000 women, mostly Koreans and Filipinas, were forced to work in Japanese war-time brothels.

Tokyo has acknowledged its military was involved in operating brothels, but has refused to provide compensation or an apology to individuals.

It says all government-level compensation has been settled by post-war peace treaties.

Reports say seven other compensation claims by former comfort women are currently before the Japanese courts.

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See also:

30 Nov 00 | Asia-Pacific
Sex slave loses compensation bid
29 Nov 00 | Asia-Pacific
Nanjing survivor sues Japanese authors
29 Nov 00 | Asia-Pacific
Japan war slaves get $4.6m
29 Mar 98 | Despatches
Korean comfort women compensated
27 Apr 98 | Asia-Pacific
Wartime 'sex slaves' get compensation
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