The Supreme Court decided Tuesday to reject two appeals by former Allied prisoners of war who demanded the government pay compensation for suffering inflicted during their internment by Japan in World War II.
It is the first top court ruling against former POWs of the Allied forces in such compensation suits. One was filed by six former Dutch POWs, and the other by seven former POWs from Britain, the United States, Australia and New Zealand.
They said they were abused by guards and underwent forced labor during internment in Japanese-occupied Southeast Asia. They said the abuse violated international law and demanded compensation.
The district and high courts ruled that individuals do not have the right to sue a government for compensation under international law.
The Niigata District Court handed down a landmark ruling Friday ordering the Japanese government, along with a harbor transport company, to pay 88 million yen in damages to Chinese nationals who were forced to labor in Japan during the war.