• Kyodo

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Thirteen Japanese women who were among those left in China after the end of World War II filed a damages suit against the government Tuesday for failing to enable them to come to Japan earlier and to fully support them after they got here.

The plaintiffs, aged 73 to 92 and who live in Tokyo and Saitama Prefecture, are seeking a total of 429 million yen in damages.

They claim the government failed to take action to let them return from China until long after the war even though it knew they had been left behind there. The government also did not sufficiently support them after they returned to Japan, forcing them to live in harsh conditions, they said.

A similar suit was filed with the Kochi District Court by nine war-displaced women in November, but no ruling has been handed down yet. Another suit is expected to be filed at the Nagoya District Court.

The government defines the war-displaced women as Japanese nationals who were aged 13 and above and were separated from their families in the chaotic days after the Soviet Union entered the war against Japan in August 1945.

Many of them married local Chinese and were considered to have chosen to stay in China. But they claim they had no choice but to marry Chinese men as a way to survive amid the chaos.

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