A group of Chinese experts and citizens filed suit Wednesday against two Japanese companies, seeking compensation for victims of wartime forced labor.

The group of 37 people is seeking compensation of 1 million yuan ($163,000) for each victim of wartime forced labor, as well as apologies for them and their families, from Mitsubishi Materials Corp. and Nippon Coke & Engineering Co., formerly known as Mitsui Mining Co.

The 37 plaintiffs, who include victims, lawyers and scholars from the government-backed Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and Peking University, filed the lawsuit with the Beijing No. 1 Intermediate People's Court.