FUKUOKA (Kyodo) Chinese plaintiffs have appealed a high court ruling that dismissed a damages suit against the government and two companies for forcing 45 Chinese to work in Fukuoka coal mines during World War II, sources said Monday.

In upholding the Fukuoka District Court’s dismissal of the lawsuit, the Fukuoka High Court on March 9 ruled that individual Chinese have no right to demand war reparations from Japan because that right was abandoned under a postwar agreement between Tokyo and Beijing.

But the high court at the same time acknowledged that forcibly taking the Chinese to coal mines in Fukuoka Prefecture and making them work constituted illegal acts committed jointly by the government and the companies.

In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs — forced laborers and relatives of deceased laborers — had demanded that the government, Mitsui Mining Co. and Mitsubishi Materials Corp. pay a combined ¥1.035 billion in compensation.

The high court ruling that individual Chinese have no right to war reparations is in line with a Supreme Court decision in April 2007.

The top court said the right was abandoned under the 1972 Japan-China Joint Communique, in which Beijing declared it “renounces its war reparation from Japan,” and cannot be exercised at courts.

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