Advanced Search
Business | Metro | Nation | World | Sports | Features | Specials | Delta Stories
Massacre survivor dies in northeast China city
24/5/2005 17:34

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 crime.
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 village.
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.
The Tokyo High Court on May 13 again rejected compensation claims from the Chinese plaintiffs, although the court recognized the massacre did exist.