California Suits Target Japanese Corporations for Forced Labor and Mistreatment of Civilians During World War II

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Saturday, January 1, 2000
Bruce Zagaris
On December 7, 1999, a series of suits were filed in California against some of Japan’s largest mining, steel, construction, and trading houses on the 58th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. They allege the Japanese companies profited from forced labor and mistreatment of civilians and prisoners during World War II and seek unspecified compensation and damages. According to Ed Fagan, one of the plaintiff’s lead counsel who also represented victims of the Holocaust against German and Swiss corporations, the case could affect millions of people in the two Koreas, China, the Philippines and several western countries, which had never obtained restitution from Japan for their wartime injuries…[more]