Massacre survivor dies in northeast China city
Mo Desheng, one of the few survivors in the Pingdingshan Massacre
committed by Japanese troops 73 years ago, died of illness at the age of 81 in
Fushun, northeast China's Liaoning Province, early Monday.
Mo was one of the
three Pingdingshan Massacre survivors who had waged a marathon litigation since
1996, asking for the Japanese government to apologize and compensate for the
On September 16, 1932, Japanese invading troops rounded up about 3,000
people, including the elderly, women and children, from Pingdingshan Village in
Fushun and shot them, accusing them of having cooperated with guerrillas
fighting against Japanese aggression. The Japanese soldiers then burned the
bodies and buried them by triggering a landslide with a dynamite explosion. Few
escaped. The Japanese invaders also burned down 800 houses in the
When the massacre took place, Mo was just eight years old. Five of
Mo's family were killed in the incident, including his parents. Mo suffered stab
wounds in the neck.
Mo, together with two other survivors from the massacre,
Yang Baoshan and Fang Surong, kept filing lawsuits at Japanese courts starting
in 1996. They asked the Japanese government to make a formal recognition of the
crime by Japanese troops at Pingdingshan and an apology for it, and pay 60
million yen (about US$600,000) in compensation.
The Japanese courts admitted
the facts, but rejected the apology and compensation claims. Upholding a verdict
made by a subordinate court in 2002, the Tokyo High Court ruled the Japanese
government is immune from taking responsibility for damage inflicted before the
enactment of the state compensation law. The ruling also said that international
laws do not recognize the seeking of damage compensation by individuals.
Tokyo High Court on May 13 again rejected compensation claims from the Chinese
plaintiffs, although the court recognized the massacre did exist.