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Last Updated: Wednesday, 24 September, 2003, 11:28 GMT 12:28 UK
Japanese 'war orphans' sue
Hundreds of Japanese orphans left behind in China at the end of World War II are suing the Japanese Government.

Their parents were forced to abandon them when they fled the Japanese puppet state of Manchuria in 1945.

The 612 plaintiffs say Japan failed to repatriate them early enough. They did not start coming home until 1981.

They are seeking 33m yen ($294,600) each. Another 600 "war orphans" filed a similar suit year.

The plaintiffs filed suits in Tokyo, Nagoya, Kyoto, Nara and Hiroshima.

They argue that because Tokyo encouraged their families to leave north-eastern China, it had a responsibility to repatriate them.

Many were adopted by Chinese families and were too young to remember their real relatives' names or faces.

When they did return, many said they found it very difficult to resettle in Japan as they lacked language skills and cultural knowledge.

Each war orphan receives a monthly welfare payment of 20-30,000 yen ($178-268) - one-tenth the average monthly living costs of a single person in Tokyo.




SEE ALSO:
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11 Aug 03  |  Asia-Pacific
Japan germ programme in dock
31 Jul 02  |  Asia-Pacific
Japanese cabinet donates to WWII fund
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Row revives memories of bitter past
09 Jul 01  |  Asia-Pacific
Japan overturns sex slave ruling
29 Mar 01  |  Asia-Pacific
Japan 'covered up' germ warfare
06 Feb 01  |  Asia-Pacific
Unit 731: Japan's biological force
01 Feb 02  |  Correspondent


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