The Tokyo District Court on Friday ordered the authors and publisher of the 1997 book “Nanjing-gyakusatsu e no Daigimon” (“Big questions on the Nanjing Massacre”) to pay a total of 1.5 million yen in damages to a Chinese woman whom the book claims is a false witness of the massacre.
The damages suit was filed by Li Xiuying, 83, who is known internationally as a vocal witness of the massacre.
The book, written by Toshio Matsumura and Hiroaki Aizawa and published by Tokyo-based Tendensha, claims that Li may be a false witness operating at the behest of Chinese authorities.
The book claims that her testimony is too inconsistent to be true.
Arguing that the book has damaged her standing as a renowned witness of the massacre, Li demanded that the writers and the publisher pay a total of 12 million yen in damages and publish an apology in major newspapers.
In handing down its ruling, the Tokyo District Court said the book’s arguments over the legitimacy of Li as a massacre witness are groundless.
Describing the ruling as a victory, one of Li’s lawyers said he expects the ruling to check the activities of those who seek to distort Japan’s wartime history.
The defendants said they will appeal the case to a higher court. Li, along with nine other Chinese nationals, are suing the Japanese government for compensation for their suffering at the hands of the Imperial Japanese Arm during the 1937 massacre.
During these proceedings, Li has testified that she was stabbed 37 times by Japanese soldiers and had a fetus she was carrying destroyed during the attack.
While the Tokyo District Court rejected their compensation demands, it acknowledged the massacre as a historical fact.
The trial is still in progress at the Tokyo High Court.
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