More than 100 Japanese who had been left behind in China at the end of World War II filed a lawsuit against the government Monday, each seeking 33 million yen in compensation for what they called Tokyo’s slow action and insufficient support in helping them settle in Japan.
The latest suit filed with the Tokyo District Court by 126 people who live in the Kanto region brings the number of so-called war orphans engaged in legal battles with the government to 1,862 nationwide — or roughly three-quarters of those who have settled in Japan.
War orphans are defined as Japanese who were separated at the age of 13 or younger from their parents or guardians in China in the chaotic days following Japan’s defeat in World War II in 1945.
After Tokyo and Beijing restored diplomatic ties in 1972, Japan launched a program in the early 1980s to help the war orphans find relatives in Japan and settle here.
As of the end of August, 2,476 had settled in Japan, according to the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry.
The plaintiffs accuse the government of failing to provide help for decades after the war. The government has also not given enough support for the war orphans after they resettled, leaving many in dire financial straits, they say.
Such suits have been filed with 12 district courts. Monday’s plaintiffs are the fourth group before the Tokyo court.
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