The Tokyo District Court on Wednesday dismissed a damages lawsuit filed against the state by three Japanese women left behind in China during the final stages of World War II.

Noriko Suzuki, 77, Takeko Fujii, 73, and Rumiko Nishida, 72, filed the lawsuit in December 2001, demanding a combined 60 million yen from the government for not fulfilling its duty to assist in bringing them to Japan from China as quickly as possible, or establishing an adequate system to support them in Japan.

While similar lawsuits have been filed in the past, this is the first in which the plaintiffs included two women who were not recognized as war orphans due to their ages -- 13 and 16 -- when they went to China with their families.