A group of 40 Chinese who were wounded or lost family members in Japan's bombings of Chongqing, China, during the war sued the government for damages Thursday, seeking a 10 million yen each.

They also demanded the government apologize for the repeated bombings, which occurred between 1938 and 1943, saying they were war crimes that violated the Hague Convention, which bans attacks on unarmed cities.

Most of the plaintiffs are in their 70s and 80s.

One of them, Zeng Youyu, 66, told a news conference that the spreading flames turned the city into an inferno and that his father was killed.

"By filing the lawsuit, we want the Japanese people to know about the Chongqing bombings," Zeng said.

The attacks are said to have been aimed at taking down the government led by Chiang Kai-shek, whose capital was in Chongqing at the time.

A recent study by a Chinese group shows about 23,600 people were killed and 31,000 wounded in the bombings.