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China seizes Mitsui O.S.K. ship over unpaid wartime contract compensation

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By Kyoko Hasegawa

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This is insane. I really hope cooler heads prevail so the Chinese government doesn't turn this into a major incident to deflect their masses discontent with their leadership.

38 ( +45 / -7 )

Maybe it's time for Japan Inc. to pull up stakes in China and go elsewhere. If China wants to come to Japan for Japanese products that they desire so much then let them on their dime but enough already with these petty little people and their mindsets of never letting up all the while copying this and that, polluting the hell out of everything and having the manners of barn yard animals. Grow up already China! It's time to put on the big boy pants and quit crapping in your nappies every time you don't get what you want.

51 ( +58 / -8 )

Seems a little extreme.

27 ( +30 / -3 )

Seized? WOW, this is not good.

21 ( +23 / -2 )

A compensation suit was brought against Mitsui by the descendants of ...

...so, I can sue the great great grandchildren of someone who once assaulted my great great grandfather?

China sinks to new lows every day.

41 ( +48 / -8 )

This is not heading in a positive ending. A prime minister intent on angering the neighbors and neighbors intent on flexing their strength. Seizing a ship over a 60 year old debt does seem a little too much.

8 ( +17 / -9 )

bfg4987 A company is perpetual. So - yes you can, when it is a company. The verdict and seizure can happen under a western court, unless the case passes the statue of limitations. Of course we are not naive enough to believe the Chinese and Japanese courts (and enforcements) are not biased and not being instruments of the respective governments.

It was a civil suit, therefore China claimed the 1972 joint communique does not matter.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

China is popping out all over. Incursions into India: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2318389/Two-Chinese-incursion-leaves-India-verge-crises.html Other stuff happening with Vietnam, Philippines, etc. It's not just Japan feeling the push.

24 ( +30 / -6 )

Talk about being Shanghaied. LoL

Since the ship was commandeered by the Imperial Japanese Navy it should be covered by the 1972 joint communique. I also don't see how PRC has jurisdiction over this case since it occured when ROC was in power.

22 ( +29 / -7 )

"the 1972 joint communique that normalised ties between Japan and China, in which Beijing agreed to renounce “its demand for war reparation from Japan”."

Remember that boys, next U time you buy shite products made in China. You are feeding the gents from Zhongnanhai who are then giving crumbs back to the people. Plain and simple Chincom cannot be trusted.

11 ( +18 / -7 )

Mitsui failed to uphold its end of the contract, plain and simple.

-26 ( +10 / -36 )

I'm not 100% certain but it would seem that the 1972 joint communique would have contemplated an official apology. In so far as that would be the case, China is probably calling the bluff on Abe's theatrics about history revision and amending the language of the official apology and saying "if you (Abe) thinks you can unilaterally go back on you government's undertaking under the 1972 communique without consequences, well, it works both ways." Just my take on it.

-20 ( +6 / -26 )

This is ludicrous. If they truly believe that the debt is still valid, then the PRC government needs to do what it takes to reclaim the money from the Government of Japan, who is responsible for the loss of the ships. Going after the civilian company because it's easier to bully than the GOJ is pathetic. I can't believe such a large and powerful country like China would be so chickenshit.

17 ( +26 / -9 )

Wow this is weird, and why is PRC doing this anyway - ROC was the legitimate government at the time, but has Taiwan said anything about the matter?

Looks like 2014 is the year people - MH370 was the start of the end, now this....I give China in its current state until the end of the year before it implodes and splits into numerous breakaway states not unlike the collapse of the USSR and the forming of 15 or so new countries in the region.

1 ( +12 / -11 )

Seems like China needs to grow up.

12 ( +19 / -7 )

I hardly think the Chinese have any legal ground to stand on. Seizing civilian property? That's how low they can stoop.

11 ( +19 / -8 )

What a barbaric act!

3 ( +10 / -7 )

The PRC has turned in to that of just a few added letters to PRC really means.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

This is another step toward mutual destruction. China cannot get the Senkakus by escalating the situation. I hope they realize it.

"Major Power Relationship" is the magic word lately. China thinks it is a "Major Power" and, therefore, can do whatever it wants to smaller nations. Their logic looks identical to what Empire of Japan used before WW2. China should accept Rule of Law rather than Rule of Power.

12 ( +17 / -5 )

lol, they should demand compensations from the US who sunk the ship then!

1 ( +9 / -8 )

Isn't anyone remotely interested in the phrasing of the original contract that Mitsui signed? I am. If the contract didn't contain waivers for acts of war and acts of god then Mitsui owes them a ship.

I see a lot of ranting about "the rule of law", but that's precisely what this is about. Mitsui signed a contract and needs to uphold its end. This article makes no mention of the original contract's terms, which makes me suspect that we don't have the full story.

-5 ( +11 / -16 )

China once again has no dignity or honour. The 1972 agreement between Japan and china put all such disputes at rest. Looks like they can agree when it suits them, then renege completely later on like an immature spoilt child.

Im firmly behind Japan on this one.

12 ( +17 / -5 )

Either way, the contract was between the predecessor to MOL and Zhongwei, not the PRC.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

I totally agree with your statement on China's logic, CH3CHO. China is the new "Japan during WWII".

1 ( +7 / -6 )

Either way, the contract was between the predecessor to MOL and Zhongwei, not the PRC.

and either way PRC isn't in charge here, the courts do.But it seems that some events that are happening lately suddenly sped up this result.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

FrungyApr. 21, 2014 - 07:19PM JST

If the contract didn't contain waivers for acts of war and acts of god then Mitsui owes them a ship.

Why? I understand that, even if the contract did not explicitly spell out acts of war or acts of god, waiver for such acts is deemed. In addition, I bet such waiver clause would be written in the contracts those days.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Man I am the first to give Japan the gears about how its dealt/deals with history & Have also said China is off its friggin rocker of late with how its bullying most of SE Asia & Japan.

But THIS IS BLOODY NUTS!

Doe the morons that run China have any idea how this affects foreign investment, current & potential in the future, hint, its NOT GOOD!!

Its looking more & more like the rest of the world will need to start really re-thinking about their relationship with China, we may have to put her out of our collective misery, I feel sorry for the Chinese people, they deserve MUCH better than what they have right now!

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Have also said China is off its friggin rocker of late with how its bullying most of SE Asia & Japan.

Kinda agree, China should cease some of its claim in SE Asia so that it does not violate other country's rights.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

China has a lot of debts it incurred to the US government prior to and during WWII that it weaseled out of paying by claiming that the debts weren't made by the legitimate government.

Perhaps the US should use this case as a precedent to call in China's debt, then refuse to pay it's recent debt to China until the past debt is made good?

21 ( +21 / -0 )

@Frungy Suppose the text doesn't include such a waiver explicitly. A contract must also be considered in context of the time in which it was signed. A "force majeure" clause would apparently not be unknown at the time, but would it be typical to explicitly include one? Or might it be more "understood" at the time that the government can requisition your assets and if anything happens to it afterwards that's too bad?

Not that a Chinese court would be in the mood to consider such details, but that's why this isn't even a very fair trial.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Wow this is weird, and why is PRC doing this anyway - ROC was the legitimate government at the time, but has Taiwan said anything about the matter?

but justice has to be served no matter which government is in power.

-11 ( +2 / -13 )

Looks a lot like tit for tat. Abe's new radar station and China's ship grabbing. What's next?

0 ( +6 / -6 )

@Frungy Suppose the text doesn't include such a waiver explicitly. A contract must also be considered in context of the time in which it was signed. A "force majeure" clause would apparently not be unknown at the time, but would it be typical to explicitly include one? Or might it be more "understood" at the time that the government can requisition your assets and if anything happens to it afterwards that's too bad?

but the company itself has to give something in return for those two ships. not just going away pretending nothing has happened.

-13 ( +3 / -16 )

The only folks that seem to accept this latest Communist Tactic are the very Communist that support Communist China!

The Communist sympathizers here and the rest of their bunch of thug "Communist" fear only one thing, force, and if Japan stops playing patticakes and starts using there force these Communist thugs will stop trying to use their tactics and be civil!

Time for Japan to stop playing nice and time for them to start pacing their boots against the Communist Chinese throat0s and playing hardball!

Communist and Totalitarians/Authoritarians only believe in one thing, the rule of force, come to terms with this fact and they will stop being thugs and start being good neighbors!

Squash these thugs and they will learn respect!

2 ( +8 / -6 )

Japan got off lightly after the war and took advantage of China's weakness. Now Japan's chickens are coming home to roost. It was always inevitable.

-16 ( +6 / -22 )

and either way PRC isn't in charge here, the courts do.But it seems that some events that are happening lately suddenly sped up this result.

This is the same tack as taken by the SK government - leaning on the "separation of powers" and the "independence of the Judiciary" when it is convenient to them.

Ultimately, the Judiciary is also a branch of government, and further, for its Judgments to have any real force requires the cooperation of the Executive. For example, the seizure of the ship is done under the "authorities", which is to say, the Executive branch.

Thus the PRC is very much in charge, in all respects, and it is guilty of violating the 1972 agreement which ended war reparations. Even if you take the position it doesn't stop civil suits, because the PRC government no longer has the right to demand reparations even if the judgment passes, the only solution would be to try to sue in the Japanese court system (yes, I know, it'd 99% bounce, but that's the way of the world).

Besides, if it is such a problem, at the time of the ship's seizure by the Japanese government, or when it was sunk, Zhongwei should have filed suit in either the ROC or Japanese government systems, which were both embattled but not dead at the time. They could also bring suit in Japan at any time between 1945-1972, but they did not do so. Hmm...

6 ( +8 / -2 )

What the ?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

the 1972 joint communique that normalised ties between Japan and China, in which Beijing agreed to renounce “its demand for war reparation from Japan

it only means that PRC cannot demand ,so it doesn't prevent individuals from demanding reparations

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

titaniumdioxideAPR. 21, 2014 - 06:50PM JST What a barbaric act!

If this happened in any other country it would indeed be barbaric, but this is China and Japan. China, the deeply scared nation who have never really seen true remorse from Japan after the atrocities committed on it's people by an unfathomably inhumane and brutal Japanese military occupation, and a country now finding it's feet in the international community. Japan is about to experience a wake-up call it never saw coming.

-17 ( +3 / -20 )

They could also bring suit in Japan at any time between 1945-1972, but they did not do so. Hmm...

because cold war happens shortly after that, and China probably restricting its citizens from going abroad so their minds won't be polluted by opposing ideology

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

I suppose I should not be surprised by this...but China has done it again. I wonder if China will be paying off the KMT's war bond debt any time soon?

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Many folks are blindly just fobbing this off to another act by 'crazy' China, and ignoring the underlining factors at play in Sino-Japanese relations. A little Googling will tell you it's not as simple as sane Japan and crazy China.

-14 ( +3 / -17 )

The value of Japanese companies’ investment in China dropped by half in the first quarter of this year from a year earlier to about $1.21 billion, Chinese government data said.

I don't know enough specifics to comment on the merits or lack thereof of the case, but I have a feeling this move will help to take a big chunk out of the remaining half of the value of Japanese companies' investment in China.

and either way PRC isn't in charge here, the courts do.

They are pretty much the same thing.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

The seizure undermined the 1972 joint communique that normalised ties between Japan and China, in which Beijing agreed to renounce “its demand for war reparation from Japan”.

That says it all. China needs to grow up and follow its commitments. I am so sick and tired of listening to them. Yes, Japan needs to own up to history in its textbooks and quit playing the victim, but China needs to stop all of this nonsense and quit playing the victim as well since its people have received more support from Japan than any other country. No country has given them more in ODA than Japan. No country has paid back more than Japan has to the Chinese. Chinese politicians are scoundrels and will be hated by their ancestors for their lack of moral fiber. The issue was solved so many years ago and the only thing that the Chinese and Koreans are doing is embarrassing themselves.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Vietnam, Indonesia and other SE Asian countries are rejoicing at this news. There have been many reasons to shift production there; here is another.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

No country has given them more in ODA than Japan. No country has paid back more than Japan has to the Chinese.

Is this enough to compensate the losses suffered by China under Japan occupation?

even it is enough, it only means it is solved monetarily, what about it's history revisionist attitude?

Is it sincere in resolving this?

-13 ( +3 / -16 )

and either way PRC isn't in charge here, the courts do.

slumdog:They are pretty much the same thing.

But they can act as if they were acting on behalf of the plaintiff not PRC

-9 ( +1 / -10 )

Vietnam, Indonesia and other SE Asian countries are rejoicing at this news. There have been many reasons to shift production there; here is another.

Indeed, and I don't believe that these countries harbor any ill feelings toward Japan to this day, despite a military occupation that was just as harsh as elsewhere in the fabled Asia Greater Coprosperity Sphere. In fact, people there love everything Japanese now more than ever, I am told!

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Indeed, and I don't believe that these countries harbor any ill feelings toward Japan to this day, despite a military occupation that was just as harsh as elsewhere in the fabled Asia Greater Coprosperity Sphere. In fact, people there love everything Japanese now more than ever, I am told!

You forget one thing though, the people there doesn't welcome any Japanese occupation in the future. My school's textbook taught me don't be deceived by colonisers, no matter where they come from, east or the west.

-9 ( +2 / -11 )

it only means that PRC cannot demand ,so it doesn't prevent individuals from demanding reparations

That's a typical nice (really pathetic) dodge. As I explained, when a court sides with the individual, in effect it is the government demanding (in fact it is not, it is just seizing now) reparations.

The Court should have mumbled about how as far as the PRC government is concerned, this is all settled in 1972, and to suggest that the individual head for Japan to seek compensation. Another good tactic is to see if they can claim prescription.

because cold war happens shortly after that, and China probably restricting its citizens from going abroad so their minds won't be polluted by opposing ideology

If we accept this variant, then we accept that China is responsible for ensuring they don't get a "fair shake".

Is this enough to compensate the losses suffered by China under Japan occupation? even it is enough, it only means it is solved monetarily, what about it's history revisionist attitude? Is it sincere in resolving this?

I think China (and Korea) have to learn that other countries will always interpret and teach history in their own way, which is to say it usually places them in the best possible light. For a country that bleats about "internal affairs" so strongly, it should not interfere with domestic education matters.

One also has to remember that when relations are going well, the Japanese were (as a whole) more or less willing to buckle. Unfortunately for Asian peace, China and Korea did not appreciate that politics is the "art of the possible" and that they already got 8/10ths of the loaf. Instead, in an attempt to seize the remaining 2/10ths, they prefer to focus attention on a few right-wingers and ultimately harmless acts while pressing what are effectively new claims of their own until the Japanese are now less willing to buckle.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Without Japan's investments and injections of subsequently copied technology China would still be in the days of the Great Leap Backwards [did I misquote?]. Is that why China hates Japan so much? Not because of the Japanese occupation many decades ago, but because they could not develop without the aid of their 'enemy'? And instead of showing their red faces of shame for not admitting all Japanese NGO and volunteers have been doing in China without fuss and for shamelessly copying Japanese technology and claiming it as original Chinese inventions, they try to cover their tracks by resorting to provocation and intimidation. The dangerous path China is on, the control of all of East Asia, leads to self destruction.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

You forget one thing though, the people there doesn't welcome any Japanese occupation in the future.

Shouldn't be any problem there - Japan for sure aint occupying or colonizing any lands that aren't already their own any time soon. The closest thing to an occupation force is the 100 JSDF troops shipped to Yonaguni in the past few days.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

That's a typical nice (really pathetic) dodge. As I explained, when a court sides with the individual, in effect it is the government demanding (in fact it is not, it is just seizing now) reparations.

Sorry but forgive me i still can't understand.

My view is that if it is PRC demanding reparations then it ends up in PRC's pocket, for individuals, it ends up in individual's pocket not government's.

but i think that China's court move can be seen as politically motivated.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Without Japan's investments and injections of subsequently copied technology China would still be in the days of the Great Leap Backwards [did I misquote?]. Is that why China hates Japan so much? Not because of the Japanese occupation many decades ago, but because they could not develop without the aid of their 'enemy'? And instead of showing their red faces of shame for not admitting all Japanese NGO and volunteers have been doing in China without fuss and for shamelessly copying Japanese technology and claiming it as original Chinese inventions, they try to cover their tracks by resorting to provocation and intimidation. The dangerous path China is on, the control of all of East Asia, leads to self destruction.

Nail on head pretty much - it is the only reason why Mao is still emblazoned so proudly around the country, and it is easy to use Japan as a scapegoat because it is easy to preach to a brainwashed public the evils that Japan did some 70 or more years ago. Just keep the past 60 years of Japanese goodwill hush hush and the public will train their anger at Japan, rather than the internal mess of politics that is slowly ripping the country apart. The Chinese commoner will soon wake up and smell the herbal tea; the very fabric of Chinese society cannot withstand such gross disparity for much longer.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

The closest thing to an occupation force is the 100 JSDF troops shipped to Yonaguni in the past few days.

Yeah i pity those locals over there, they wish to be out from the whatever conflicts China had with Japan.......

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

I have said it before and I'll say it again, stop trading with China, leave it to wallow in its own mess, stop selling it resources and stop buying its products, move manufacturing to more responsible trustworthy nations and show china that if it doesn't want to participate in a fair and reasonable world then it can stand alone, it will break down sooner than some think.

Isolate the lying, cheating, stealing, steaming, smelling, festering dump it deserves nothing more.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

This case itself doesn't have any substance since the plaintiff does not have any legal relationship with the two parties.

The original case was between two corporate entities binding a lease contract. Unless the founder placed a special clause to include himself as an individual which I find very unlikely, as I wrote in the beginning the present plaintiff has no legal claim to the case.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

xybercApr. 21, 2014 - 04:54PM JST If that's the case, people japan can sue for private property in china, manchu,korea.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

China is lunatic everyday!

7 ( +7 / -0 )

I have said it before and I'll say it again, stop trading with China, leave it to wallow in its own mess, stop selling it resources and stop buying its products, move manufacturing to more responsible trustworthy nations and show china that if it doesn't want to participate in a fair and reasonable world then it can stand alone, it will break down sooner than some think. Isolate the lying, cheating, stealing, steaming, smelling, festering dump it deserves nothing more.

Only problem with this is the greedy capitalist pigs - you really think giant Australian mining companies like BHP or Rio will forgo billions in sales? If BHP doesn't sell China iron ore, then countless other companies from South America or Africa will...unless there are blanket global sanctions imposed on China, this will simply not happen.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Without Japan's investments and injections of subsequently copied technology China would still be in the days of the Great Leap Backwards [did I misquote?]. Is that why China hates Japan so much?

come on, there is no need to worry as China is super duper goood in copying other nation's technology, even without Japan. Well don't we have America accusing China stealing it's well guarded schematics.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

Perhaps China thinks she can copy what is happening in Crimea in trying to turn the hand of the clock back toward the twentieth century, which I don't think it is a good example to follow.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

to be expected- the USA has proven to be toothless when it came to Russia and its continued takeover of the Ukraine, the Asian pivot never materialized as President Obama decided not to get China upset. The first lady was more worried about the Chinese people so visited them rather than coming to Japan.

So of course China looks at this information and makes the decision that the USA will not move to protect treaties, agreements or any other previously agreed upon deals. To them the USA is has already given up

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Indeed, and I don't believe that these countries harbor any ill feelings toward Japan to this day, despite a military occupation that was just as harsh as elsewhere in the fabled Asia Greater Coprosperity Sphere.

Yes, it was harsh - but objectively no less harsh than their subjection to European colonialism, and they remember that. That is the difference between SE Asia and East Asia, where, for the latter, colonialization came late and with only one master.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Something smells fishy about this Ossue. 83 years later. Oh wait.... corrupt politicians judges and lawyers. Its always that

5 ( +6 / -1 )

For the 'Most Stupid Idea by a Country Award', this is up there with the best of them.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

This reeks of extortion. But, afterall, it is China, so it's not all that surprising.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

This reeks of extortion. But, afterall, it is China, so it's not all that surprising.

Agreed, this also happens to Chinese themselves. There are quite a few cases of well known businessman getting their properties confiscated when they fall out of favour.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

China is like a bullied kid given a gun. The kid's been bullied all his life by everyone (other countries), and now that he has a gun (economic power), he feels like he can do whatever he wants. I'm not saying China is right, but China is what it is today because of the bullying, so all those involved (and those who didn't do anything while the bullying happened) are responsible.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Kazuaki ShimazakiApr. 21, 2014 - 08:15PM JST @Frungy Suppose the text doesn't include such a waiver explicitly. A contract must also be considered in context of the time in which it was signed. A "force majeure" clause would apparently not be unknown at the time, but would it be typical to explicitly include one? Or might it be more "understood" at the time that the government can requisition your assets and if anything happens to it afterwards that's too bad?

With all due respect, I don't think you understand how contracts work. Let's take a simple example. I borrow your car, promising to return it. You say that if I don't return it or if it is badly damaged then I owe you the replacement value. While I have the car it is stolen from me. Do I then owe you nothing? No, of course not. I owe you the replacement value of the car.

That is what is happening in this case. Mitsui seems to owe these people the cost of two ships and is refusing to pay. They had a contract that Mitsui is failing to honor.

Mitsui could turn around and ask the Japanese government for the cost of the ships they took (and best of luck to them in doing that), but expecting the Chinese business to do that would be like shrugging your shoulders and saying, "Yeah, go speak to the car thieves, because it isn't my problem.".

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

Frungy,

With all due respect, that was what the treaty is for so that each government takes care of it's own peoples whatever the damages and compensation that they incurred during that time. If the Chinese government position claim is that they are indeed "individual" and separate from the "state" claims, the Japanese individuals and companies now have the right to seek retrieval and payment of assets they left behind in China.

http://books.google.co.jp/books?id=ct6iAgAAQBAJ&pg=PA136&lpg=PA136&dq=%E5%9C%A8%E5%A4%96%E8%B3%87%E7%94%A3%E3%80%80%E6%88%A6%E5%BE%8C&source=bl&ots=gYOQ1yuCb-&sig=E_dXc3iMUca1pynyA3weMNJTL-Y&hl=ja&sa=X&ei=kzZVU7zNDsqMyASD04KwBQ&ved=0CGAQ6AEwCQ#v=onepage&q=%E5%9C%A8%E5%A4%96%E8%B3%87%E7%94%A3%E3%80%80%E6%88%A6%E5%BE%8C&f=false

The purpose and the spirit of the treaty is to eliminate such endless cross border lawsuits thereby individuals/businesses can invest and grow without the threat of these litigations.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Chinese and Hong Kong media said the seizure was related to a verdict by a court in Shanghai that said Mitsui must pay about 2.9 billion yen ($28 million) in relation to the leasing of two ships nearly 80 years ago.

;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;

Now Mitsui has good excuse to stop investing in China's Economic growth. Mitsubishi will follow? All Japan Inc, will follow? $28 million may sound big but not to Mitsui, the wealthiest organization in Japan.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Felguard. Look. China has bullied itself by its own leaders (Mao). Also. They imitate their leaders. Thats why many judges act like tjat

1 ( +3 / -2 )

The war is over China . Watch it Japan will retaliate and do the same. China is a big bully with its tail between its legs . Only one way to stop a bully. Head on!

1 ( +4 / -3 )

nigelboyApr. 22, 2014 - 12:22AM JST With all due respect, that was what the treaty is for so that each government takes care of it's own peoples whatever the damages and compensation that they incurred during that time. If the Chinese government position claim is that they are indeed "individual" and separate from the "state" claims, the Japanese individuals and companies now have the right to seek retrieval and payment of assets they left behind in China.

That logic doesn't wash. If I leave my home and fail to pay taxes and duties on it, and it is then subsequently sold off by the city hall and occupied by a new owner then that's my bad, and I can't very well go to the new owner and demand its return.

In the Mitsui case there was a contract that the other party failed to fulfill, and Zhongwei is merely asking for what they're owed.

There is a very real and very relevant difference between the two examples. I think the Chinese courts made the correct decision on this matter.

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

, the Japanese individuals and companies now have the right to seek retrieval and payment of assets they left behind in China.

If they got claim, just go and ask for it

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

That logic doesn't wash. If I leave my home and fail to pay taxes and duties on it, and it is then subsequently sold off by the city hall and occupied by a new owner then that's my bad, and I can't very well go to the new owner and demand its return.

The logic does wash for the treaty (namely the Treaty of Peace San Francisco) where Japanese and her nationals were ordered to abandon all overseas assets where according to GHQ report, the sum exceed $30 billion at that time (1945) This isn't about "leaving my home" to avoid paying taxes.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Frungy

That is what is happening in this case.

There is a point where simple analogies don't work. I suggest that a lawsuit contesting a contract between two companies that no longer exist brought on 80-plus years after the fact by the grandchild of an owner of the original company with no apparent legal claim to the damages suffered might be one of those times.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

The logic does wash for the treaty (namely the Treaty of Peace San Francisco) where Japanese and her nationals were ordered to abandon all overseas assets where according to GHQ report, the sum exceed $30 billion at that time (1945) This isn't about "leaving my home" to avoid paying taxes.

So what? DEBTS ARE ALWAYS THERE until it is settled.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

There is a point where simple analogies don't work. I suggest that a lawsuit contesting a contract between two companies that no longer exist brought on 80-plus years after the fact by the grandchild of an owner of the original company with no apparent legal claim to the damages suffered might be one of those times.

On top of that, these types of "claims" were also rejected by the Chinese courts for 40 years until recently for the same reason I stated above.

The sudden roundabout face by the Chinese courts (organ under the umbrella of CCP) is another political issue that they want to create and as a result, it will be the second round of confiscation by the Chinese government. As a result, I can see many Japanese firms divesting from China for these added risks on top of the mass riots simply makes it not worthwhile anymore.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

On top of that, these types of "claims" were also rejected by the Chinese courts for 40 years until recently for the same reason I stated above.

Yeah this represent the Chinese courts are inefficient. If it were other courts such as European and US, the defendant already settled the debt long ago, not to delay until now just to spread some political message

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Yeah this represent the Chinese courts are inefficient. If it were other courts such as European and US, the defendant already settled the debt long ago, not to delay until now just to spread some political message

Chinese courts are inefficient for the simple reason that they fail to adhere to the international treaty which courts and Europe and U.S. have adhered to. Thank you for pointint them out.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

I have to wonder if the Shanghai court did this with Beijing's consent or if they are just acting as a loose canon. In either case Chinese nationalism is approaching the Japanese version of the 1920s. It's a bad situation and the Chinese seem to be incapable of learning from history.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

The Republic of China should bring suit in Japanese court to demand compensation from the Beijing regime for the 65 year illegal occupation of most of their territory.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

FrungyApr. 21, 2014 - 07:19PM JST Isn't anyone remotely interested in the phrasing of the original contract that Mitsui signed? I am. If the contract didn't >contain waivers for acts of war and acts of god then Mitsui owes them a ship.

There is no Charterparty that does not exclude acts of war and acts of God.This has been common practice since the late 1800s.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Don't worry: Mitsui will pay. Some years ago, Sumitomo lost in S Korean Court. At that time, Sumitomo was in financial crisis. Then Mitsui paid that fine and rescued Sumitomo. Now Sumitomo and Mitsui are together. Only $28 million is not a big deal for Mitsui that has over 80 large corporation under its umbrella. Beside that, there are many Japanese corporations that owe Mitsui generosity for years. So, it is likely Japan Inc exodus from China will follow rapidly. Well, China will do its economic growth without borrowing Japan Inc technology.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Who is to say pre-war Debt isn't a Debt especially when a ship was illegally destroyed by Japanese Navy? Mitsui is shameless to refuse responsibility and J Govt should compensate Mitsui to pay for the wreck... ABE making this into grudge a match is way out of line although his tendency to forget Japan's responsibility for their abuse is nothing new.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

Shanghai Maritime Court said Saturday it had seized “the vessel Baosteel Emotion owned by Mitsui O.S.K. Lines… for enforcement of an effective judgement” made in December 2007

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This is a court case in which Mitsui lost. . Best is Mitsui pays penalty. And get out from China operation,

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I wonder if it has occurred to anyone that since Japan has gotten fabulously wealthy by getting out of wartime debts that it should now friggen pay up already?

If a guy owed you a fortune, but filed for bankruptcy, giving you nothing, you would be miffed. If he was a billionaire years later, how would you feel?

The law might say he owes you nothing. Justice would say otherwise. Morality would say otherwise.

If Mitsui wants their ship back, they should file a civil case against the Japanese government and have them pay for the ship they commandeered that got sunk while in their possession.

And I will also say that whatever treaty the PRC government made with the Japanese government does not apply to individuals and companies. No government has the right to sign away your right to compensation. No way. Forget it. No way I am going to nod to that. It might be me someday. It might be you!

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

The Japanese government may have to prepare itself for the eventuality that the U.S. government can no longer continue to side with Japan. Germany and its industry recognized their moral responsibility and continued to negotiate until the fund was established. Comparing German and Japanese cases, those nations who hide behind the legal technicality will ultimately find that the wall comes tumbling down. On the other hand, the consequences of not settling may include many more expensive legal battles, dragging on for years, possible economic boycotts of Japanese products and perpetuating an image of Japan not facing its past that would hinder its ability to play a leadership role in the international community. Some of the mainstream media in Japan are beginning to recognize this.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Somebody needs to look over that conveyance contract between Daido and Mitsui. IF Daido assume all liability, debts, indemnities and assignments from Mitsui, then it is possible that there is a CIVIL CASE here.

The 1972 communique limits to compensation between Sovereign States of China and Japan. It doesn't pertain to CIVIL CASES presided by each nation. And since Shanghai has a local court that awarded a judgement against Mitsui, and if said contracts between Mitsui and Daido contains terms that relegated duties owed by Mitsui to Daido, pending on whether there is a statute of limitation in Chinese laws and civil codes, its not that far-fetched that there is a claim there.

Its similar to American or European banks seizing assets and accounts if a local American or European court handed down a judgement against a foreign company. They are allow to freeze and seize assets according to local rulings.

The only thing Daido can do is appeal the decisions on the grounds that there is no terms in the aforementioned that would relegate Daido as a liable party.

This is a civil case. Although its quite clear that its politically motivated but that's how laws can be sometimes, every nation does that. China is just getting smarter and catching up with the rest of the western world. Even if you commandeer a ship, the military still has to pay something to somebody. China isn't suing Japan, its suing a civilian company that did not honor its leasing K. There is a case here, even if its a weak one.

I can easily see Mitsubishi being next. However, Japan will never pull out of Japan. Its simply suicidal for Japan to do so. There is zero chance Japan will survive without doing business in/with China. Those days are long over. This is a tricky case. Either way Japanese companies lose. Pay them the money, that opens up precedent for other claimants. Don't pay them, then these companies will not be able to do business in China. Lose-Lose situation for Japanese companies.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

This wouldn't have been an issue if Japan had gotten rid of the zaibatsu after the war, but they are still with us and so are their liabilities. All the same players are still in Japan from the politicians to the zaibatsu. The only course left to the international courts. But there was a court running against Japan recently and Japan doesn't seem to want to follow the spirit of the ruling so I don't know how friendly the international courts will be. Actions have consequences, once the old wounds are opened and left untreated, you can die from the gangrene.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

This is a civil case. Although its quite clear that its politically motivated but that's how laws can be sometimes, every nation does that.

No. So far, it's been China and now soon to be Korea. (What a surprise! Not!) U.S. courts have rejected similar claims on the basis on international treaty.

Like clockwork, sfjp330 managed to bring Germany into the discussion where Germany lacks such bilateral treaties among nations. Therefore, there are still civil litigation among persons and companies where even German nationals can also claim assets in former occupied territory.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

The treaty meant the U.S. set about whitewashing and sanitizing Japan's war responsibility and war crimes. The old companies, Mitsui, Mitsubishi, did get somewhat broken up during the occupation but had regrouped by the early 1950s. They did regroup in different forms, but they are still the same genealogies. And the question for them, really, today is will they take a kind of moral responsibility, rather than legal to go back and look at these issues? I think they as well as the J-government would morally and politically be well advised to take such a position. But that is not their position. They have an absolutely legitimate moral claim. The legal question is something different. But morally they certainly have a claim.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

What this means: It means that China no longer feels it needs Japan's Investment Capital and no longer needs Japan's technology. An action such as this by the Chinese Govt. must be approved at the highest levels only. It is, to my knowledge, the first time China has enforced a WWII debt by seizing an asset of a Japanese company. Forget your treaties and throw everything else out the window. This is a major shift by the Chinese in policy. China knows that Japan needs China more than the reverse.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

China sinks to a new and utterly pathetic low. Just how petty can they get?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

danalawton1@yahoo.comApr. 22, 2014 - 06:13AM JST Forget your treaties and throw everything else out the window.

In the 1951 SF Treaty, the PRC supported the Soviet proposal that all states that participated with their armed forces against Japan should prepare the treaty. Instead, the U.S. had monopolized the task and excluded China when in the war of resisting and defeating Japanese imperialism, the Chinese people, sustained the heaviest losses and made the greatest contribution. The PRC took exception to the clause on reparations for Allied property because it rendered Japan liable for damages only after December 7, 1941, ignoring the facts that China was at war with Japan much earlier. PRC's Zhou declared, reserved its right to demand reparations from Japan and would refuse to recognize the treaty.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It's an open act of war. The aggressive, totalitarian and insane China seeing how much it can get away by slapping Japan's face hard in public.

China’s Supreme Court clarified the Statutes of Limitations for civil cases as being two years recently.

Therefore, allowing a 80 year old claim, and one not even made by the damaged party but their descendants is insane, and against a different company from the one they claimed damaged them.

It all suggests some other agenda at play.

"China", and certainly the PRC did not exist in 1936. The land was divided. Much of which was Japanese was given to Japan having been previously Russian and honestly leased.

Much of t

4 ( +7 / -3 )

My company has taken action - we have suspended all business with China and Chinese people effective immediately. I hope others follow our example.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Once again, the timing of impounding the Japanese Ship owned by Mitsui OSK and honoring war dead in the controversial Yasukuni war shrine are definitely not pure coincident. Those actions point to thel trajectory that both Japan and China are investing very little to improve their already strained relationship (even before Obama’s Asia trip, which is another reason both Japan and China want to show their “red lines”.)

Further, it looks like the Chinese regime may start playing hardball with Japan, at least from trade side. The irony is that few days ago, Abe told the press that China is a vital economic partner of Japan amid territorial disputes. Now we see the Chinese side seems showing no interest to buying what Abe sells. On the contrary, Chinese court ordered an unprecedented seizure of Japanese company’s property to show its willingness to take on Japanese corporations which are doing business with China and had connections to World War II.

The tricky part of the Chinese court order is the potential implication. As we know, many of Japanese companies existed before World War II and now are doing business with China. All of sudden, these company would be becoming targets for Chinese “plaintiffs” to seek compensation and punitive damage. Given Mitsui OSK’s position in court paper and its ship’s location, it is put into a compromised position with little leverage to refusal of the said amount. In other words, Mitsui OSK is highly likely to pay.

Another sign of ramifications is that Chinese government changed its tone, calling its local court order against Mitsui OSK “Commercial dispute” rather the war reparation (as part of a 1972 joint communique signed when the Japan and China established their diplomatic relations, all of war reparation should be renounced by China.) This may set the presentence to open the flood-gate ftowards potential law suits against Japanese companies such as Mitsubishi Materials Corp which is accused to use forced labor during the war in China, S.K and other Asian countries.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Quite a new ship requiring Japanese operating safety maintenance.

Cargo non-delivery loss to Chinese companies.

While potential buyer mulls hurdles, berthing & deterioration costs mount.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Crimean effect, China is learning by Russia on bullyng tactics, classmates that play togegher against weak classmates.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I'm about as anti-China as it gets, but I'm surprised at all of those blaming China here, especially those misquoting the 1972 joint communique. That document normalized relations between Japan and the People's Republic of China while cutting ties to the ROC. That document renounced any claims for reparations, but this is a contractual obligation. That took about 3 minutes to look up. I usually find reasonable and intelligent comments here, but this time I'm afraid I'm going to have to give a big FAIL!

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Further, it looks like the Chinese regime may start playing hardball with Japan, at least from trade side. The irony is that few days ago, Abe told the press that China is a vital economic partner of Japan amid territorial disputes. Now we see the Chinese side seems showing no interest to buying what Abe sells. On the contrary, Chinese court ordered an unprecedented seizure of Japanese company’s property to show its willingness to take on Japanese corporations which are doing business with China and had connections to World War II.

More reason to divest in this country. I recall a few years ago when China halted exports of rare earths in retaliation to the Senkaku issue and many posters were proclaiming death to the Japanese manufacturers unless the Japanese government caved in. We all know how that turned out. Businesses do adjust and prosper especially the Zaibatsu groups.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I'm about as anti-China as it gets, but I'm surprised at all of those blaming China here, especially those misquoting the 1972 joint communique. That document normalized relations between Japan and the People's Republic of China while cutting ties to the ROC. That document renounced any claims for reparations, but this is a contractual obligation. That took about 3 minutes to look up. I usually find reasonable and intelligent comments here, but this time I'm afraid I'm going to have to give a big FAIL!

And most countries have something known as a "statute of limitations" that stipulate how many years a crime can be prosecuted, or a contract enforced. Since this case is some 80 years old, the court systems of most countries would throw out the case, with the defendant offering the absolute defense that the case is "out of statute".

3 ( +3 / -0 )

,Ignatius-Obviously if local laws stipulate a statute of limitations that this falls outside of, then that make the decision clear, but that doesn't change the point of my comment. Many here are blasting China for breaking the 1972 joint communique, but this does not.go against that treaty. This is a civil suit with merit and unless there is a statute of limitations absolving them of their breech then I see nothing wrong with this.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

This dispute is NOTHING to do with Mitsui OSK - the ships in question were requisitioned from a different corporate entity by the Japanese Government, which was responsible for their loss and any compensation payable. Force majeure, acts of governments, princes or people would always exclude the charterer from responsibility in such a case.

For the Chinese, of all people, to penalise the Japanese for an act of State intervention in private business the best part of 80 years ago, is an example of "brass neck" unequalled in my recent experience. (Perhaps Kim Jong Un accusing other countries of "aggression" comes close though...) But then, what do you expect from an immature government like that, run by state-employed billionaires on token salaries?

The irony of the situation can be appreciated from the ship's name - Baosteel is of course a huge Chinese steel corporation, whose ore supply requirements it was built to serve.

The Chinese also lately have "form" in meddling with bulk cargo business. After years of safe calls, they recently banned port calls by ore carriers of over a certain size, forcing the owners, who were of course investing in economies of scale to deliver ore more cheaply and efficiently, to trans-ship cargoes at greatly increased cost, in the Philippines.

Chinese capitalism still has so much to learn.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Do you really believe grandchildren of deceased defendants, can sue a company that did not exist when the event in question happened 80 years ago, and then seize a multi-million dollar vessel without higher sanctioning from the CPC?

Daido Kaiun was wound up in 1964, it's debt and liabilities disappearing at that time.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

That is a ridiculous Chinese rulings! We can see how the Chinese government leaders think with a mosquito brains!

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Raven Bo xyberc - If that's the case, people japan can sue for private property in china, manchu,korea.

Yes, they can. And it would be dealt with according to their respective court systems - in China, in Japan, and in any country. That is the pretense, of course. But who says it is not ugly?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

China is certainly not alone in seeking compensation from corporations for their actions in WW2.

Lawsuit against Swiss banks, launched to retrieve deposits made by victims of Nazi persecution during and prior to World War II, were only finally concluded with reparations paid in October 2009. Settlements with German and Austrian Corporations as a result of numerous class action lawsuits that were filed in the United States seeking compensation for forced/slave laborer during WW2 were only initiated in 1999 and final payments were made in 2006. German Chancellor Angela Merkel stated in 2007 that "Many former forced laborers have finally received the promised humanitarian aid"; she also conceded that before the fund was established nothing had gone directly to the forced laborers. German president Horst Koehler stated...

It was an initiative that was urgently needed along the journey to peace and reconciliation... At least, with these symbolic payments, the suffering of the victims has been publicly acknowledged after decades of being forgotten.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

presto345APR. 21, 2014 - 10:17PM JST

Without Japan's investments and injections of subsequently copied technology China would still be in the days of the Great Leap Backwards [did I misquote?]. Is that why China hates Japan so much? Not because of the Japanese occupation many decades ago, but because they could not develop without the aid of their 'enemy'? And instead of showing their red faces of shame for not admitting all Japanese NGO and volunteers have been doing in China without fuss and for shamelessly copying Japanese technology and claiming it as original Chinese inventions.

Well, exactly could be said of Japan. Japan was massively aided by the US, Japan's wartime enemy - they established their Constitution, government and a lot of the infrastructure Japan enjoys today not to mention opening up American marketplace. Japan also 'borrowed' a lot of the US and European tech used to make Japan wealthy including electronics and car technology etc. Granted though Japan took a lot of that tech to a new, more efficient level.

It's a shame Japanese are not aware of these facts - they have the impression they did it all themselves because of 'hard work'.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Lawsuit against Swiss banks, launched to retrieve deposits made by victims of Nazi persecution during and prior to World War II, were only finally concluded with reparations paid in October 2009. Settlements with German and Austrian Corporations as a result of numerous class action lawsuits that were filed in the United States seeking compensation for forced/slave laborer during WW2 were only initiated in 1999 and final payments were made in 2006. German Chancellor Angela Merkel stated in 2007 that "Many former forced laborers have finally received the promised humanitarian aid"; she also conceded that before the fund was established nothing had gone directly to the forced laborers. German president Horst Koehler stated...

so what's stopping them from settling the bill? Arrogance perhaps.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

I look forward to the Chinese courts granting compensation claims made by those who lost land and property during the reign of mass murderer Mao. But wait: the unelected Chinese dictatorship, in violation of its own toilet-paper constitution, doesn't allow its citizens to even file such complaints, preferring instead to arrest them without charge and send them for "re-education".

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I look forward to the Chinese courts granting compensation claims made by those who lost land and property during the reign of mass murderer Mao. But wait: the unelected Chinese dictatorship, in violation of its own toilet-paper constitution, doesn't allow its citizens to even file such complaints, preferring instead to arrest them without charge and send them for "re-education".

I admit it is true, but wait does that mean Japanese should also do bad things, by not settling the debt as it should?

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

No it doesn't, but seizing a ship isn't going to help anyone, is it?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Well it is their fault for giving bad guy PRC an excuse by not settling the debt

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

With all due respect, I don't think you understand how contracts work. Let's take a simple example. I borrow your car, promising to return it. You say that if I don't return it or if it is badly damaged then I owe you the replacement value. While I have the car it is stolen from me. Do I then owe you nothing? No, of course not. I owe you the replacement value of the car.

You are assuming a lot: 1) That there is even such a compensation clause in the contract. 2) That Force Majeure exclusion clauses are common practice at the time the contract was done, but somehow Mitsui forgot to put one in.

I'm actually willing to buy a Force Majeure exclusion was not explicitly included (even a Chinese court has to have at least a bit of opening to pass a judgment like this), but it probably wasn't as common in that time period.

Who is to say pre-war Debt isn't a Debt especially when a ship was illegally destroyed by Japanese Navy?

Let's get this straight. The US sank those ships.

The 1972 communique limits to compensation between Sovereign States of China and Japan. It doesn't pertain to CIVIL CASES presided by each nation. And since Shanghai has a local court that awarded a judgement against Mitsui, and if said contracts between Mitsui and Daido contains terms that relegated duties owed by Mitsui to Daido, pending on whether there is a statute of limitation in Chinese laws and civil codes, its not that far-fetched that there is a claim there.

That's a pretty crummy distinction, since it renders an elimination of war reparations clause meaningless. Remember that most war reparations can also be a civil suit.

Consider, an attacking army flattens your house. Obviously, it would be valid for war reparations to include the value of your house. But it is also a valid target for a civil suit against the former enemy government for damages from destruction of property! So if you say that the elimination of war reparations does not eliminate civil suits, than in practice nothing is eliminated. The more so if you say the civil suit can be held in your own country, to be tried by your own standards - this is even worse than war reparations where at least the other government has some say in deciding the amount.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Loki Herring - the debt, actually compensation, was the responsibility of the Japanese government, not the charterer of the lost ships, and definitely not the responsibility of an unrelated successor company of the charterer 77 years later...

This is simply a case of the Chinese opportunistically suing whoever they think is most likely to be forced to pay, not whose responsibility it actually is, legally or morally. This is what I would call a mendacious action, encouraged by political considerations, which Chinese civil courts have yet to learn they should be neutral towards.

Perhaps Japan should try suing the Chinese Government for the cost of defending itself against the Mongol invasion fleets?

See? this gets silly pretty quickly.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

So Loki Herring, if we are going to use your way of making convincing arguments, are we are all going whine and point fingers like kindergarteners? Honestly, this whole "but but she started it, yeah but nu-uh I'm taking your toy" whining isn't going to get anyone anywhere.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Never mind, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd can in turn sue japan gov for mismanaging its private property (resulting it being sunk by America)

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

No government has the right to sign away your right to compensation.

Yes it does. Until quite recently it was fully recognized that the government is supposed to represent you, the citizen on the nation to nation level. If your representing government decides it is in the best interest of the country to sign away your right to compensation ... well, then that's it.

Admittedly, (AFAIK starting around the 1990s) there is a movement internationally to degrade this right. Another manifestation of this is the new tactic, "pioneered" by South Korea (AFAIK), to separate civil suits concerning perceived wartime wrongs with national-level reparations.

Already, recent cases in Korea and (now) in China is showing the practical folly of such an idea. It stretches on the issue frivolously and to little constructive end. A lot of commentators seem to feel the problem is with Japan not paying up. However, in a legal structure where governments are permitted to not remove their citizens' rights to demand compensation, even if Japan has, in post-war reparations, paid an amount sufficient to get everyone on this comment thread to shut up about the issue, it still would not remove the right of the citizens to seek compensation. And if we accept China & Korea's position that such cases can be resolved within their own national court, it leads to a case where theoretically infinite compensation can be awarded, with the government "freezing" assets at will for noncompliance and claiming it is from a "court order" from a "civil suit".

A further thing China and Korea might want to consider is the counter. Right now, Japan's claims to a rather large amount of de-facto seized property in China is sealed by the San Francisco Treaty. However, if we accept the idea the state cannot force its citizens to relinquish claims, and that this new zeitgeist should apply retroactively, it would be inconsistent to say it covers the 1972 Communique and the 1965 Korean-Japanese Treaty, but not the 1951 San Francisco Treaty. So Japanese would be able to file claims for not only the value of the property, but also its "potential", which was lost to them.

Call me a traditionalist, but I think the old system, formed by evolutionary realism, is superior to this new idealistic system that takes no regard of practical realities or the hearts of men (and courts).

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Since the PRC has opened the issue, can my wife seek compensation for the property seized from her family in Manchukuo in 1945?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I think it is time for the Japanese government to play hardball order all Japanese companies out of China and focus on South & South East Asia. Let see who really suffering and don’t forget the combine populations of South and South East Asia is approximately over 1.7 billion people and the costs to operate in these countries are much cheaper than in China and they do not hold any grudge against the Japanese people. No more investment means high unemployment in China means instability for the communist regime and I do not think they want to see this ever happened in China. Japan need to act fast and furious and not backing down.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

1949 Taking his last breath, Chen Shun Tong asks his son, Chen Chiak Qun to continue demand reparation from the Japan side

1958 Chen Chiak Qun migarated to Hong Kong and registered Zhongwei co there. He continued to litigate just as his father did.

1961-1964 Chen Chiak Qun came to Japan to demand reparation, but Japan gov. says that the claim of the two ships being claimed by it is unsubstantited.

1964-1967 Civil mediation with Japan gov, but Japan still refuses to compensate

1970 Chen starts to file a case in Tokyo to sue Japan gov

1974 The Japan court judged that the case already exceeded the bar of statue of limitation, Chen cannot demand any reparations.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Mongolia watchout it is your turn soon! Ref# wtfjapan . If they want history let talk history. China invades Tibet and still occupies most of Tibet. China invaded Vietnam and occupied the country for thousands of years. Wondering what Vietnamese people are entitle to claim from China? By the way China is not the only nation suffering during the pacific war there are many countries in the Asian regions experience what the Chinese did included the American the Aussie. It is time to move on and you cannot hold the young Japanese generation to be responsible for their parents and grandparents actions. Vietnamese people suffering a lot more than the Chinese and they seem to move on fast.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

That's nice research, Loki. If I accept this:

1974 The Japan court judged that the case already exceeded the bar of statue of limitation, Chen cannot demand any reparations.

OK, so Chen agrees the Japanese government has legitimate jurisdiction, files there, and loses. That should have been the end of it.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

well just hope everything turns out well for both sides i think?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Loki HerringApr. 22, 2014 - 04:28PM JST

The statute of limitations in Peoples Republic of China is 2 years. See article 135 as well as article 137 of the Civil Code.

http://zh.wikisource.org/wiki/%E4%B8%AD%E5%8D%8E%E4%BA%BA%E6%B0%91%E5%85%B1%E5%92%8C%E5%9B%BD%E6%B0%91%E6%B3%95%E9%80%9A%E5%88%99#.E7.AC.AC.E4.B8.83.E7.AB.A0.E3.80.80.E8.AF.89.E8.AE.BC.E6.97.B6.E6.95.88

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

My point is before 1974 Chen already filed a case against Japan Gov, if Japan gov is a responsible gov it should have gave reparations, not wait until 1974 to say it's your loss I believe that Chen's claim isn't unsubstantiated as there are statements are proving its existence and its use by Japan gov in this news portal.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@loki

My point is before 1974 Chen already filed a case against Japan Gov, if Japan gov is a responsible gov it should have gave reparations, not wait until 1974 to say it's your loss I believe that Chen's claim isn't unsubstantiated as there are statements are proving its existence and its use by Japan gov in this news portal.

You do know that filing a lawsuit and winning a lawsuit are different things, right?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Well for me 4 years is sufficient a time for Japan gov to make reparations if it is sincere

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

China's denial stance makes every decent person spit blood! It's disgusting if you read just how full the Chinese are of themselves. Read this article: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-27107664 ... "China has guaranteed peace in Asia for the last 40 years!" Excuse me? ... "Japan is bullying China!" ... Way to twist the reality here!

Seizing the ship is another slap in the face on the way to let the situation escalate. And China wants it to escalate. Luckily the other major powers look through China's arrogant narcism and at least slowly start to wake up and move their industries out of China. It's about time that China is shaken up to realize that without the rest of the world they are worthless.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

If you strongly agree that China deserves the hate, then support this

Yeah do you want the international community to GET MAD at PRC China? IT IS EASY,Just tell them to follow the example set by Japan below

January 18, 1915. Japan has made the famous Twenty-One Demands which shows that Japan demanded recognition of its seizure of the German spheres of influence in China, and also wanted new powers over the Chinese government that had the potential of making China little more than a puppet state.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

hokkaidoguyApr. 23, 2014 - 12:59AM JST You do know that filing a lawsuit and winning a lawsuit are different things, right?

The filing of the lawsuit is important since it shows the debt was still being pursued. You stop owing money when the company stops asking your to pay for a certain period. As long as they are still asking you to pay you still owe the money.

Which bring me to:

CH3CHOApr. 22, 2014 - 07:10PM JST The statute of limitations in Peoples Republic of China is 2 years. See article 135 as well as article 137 of the Civil Code.

That's two years after the company gives up on asking for the money. If they ask for the money on the last day of the second year then it "renews" the debt.

Basic commercial law concept.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Even though $26 million is peanuts to the Mitsui Group, it's strange that they paid so quickly. There's more to this than meets the eye.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

serendipitousApr. 25, 2014 - 12:42AM JST Even though $26 million is peanuts to the Mitsui Group, it's strange that they paid so quickly. There's more to this than meets the eye.

Not really. They probably need the ship to meet orders worth a lot more than $26 million in the next 6 months. A quick cost-benefit analysis would show the best course of action. Also, they probably have a legal department who explained what I just explained, that they owe the money legally and that even if they referred it to international arbitration they would most likely lose, since you can't have businesses just deciding not to pay their debts.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

In Japan I am always being admonished to follow the rules-glad to see the Shanghai court applied the law to Mitsui!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

xyberc You are wrong or just don't know what you are talking about. This case has been well reported and discussed in international legal journals since its inception.

Daido leased the hulls (ships) but the ships were then seized by the Imperial Navy, i.e., the Japanese government. Then they were sunk by torpedos. Mitsui had insurance on the cargo, which paid off the cargo owners, but didn't have insurance on the hulls (ships) because no one would issue it during those terrible times. Mitsui filed claims for compensation against the wartime Japanese government in order to pay the lease amount to the ship's owners, but didn't get any money.

In any event, under settled international and maritime law, Daido/Mitsui's obligations to pay the lease money to Zhongwei were suspended when the ships were seized by the Japanese Imperial Navy (government) under the doctrine of force majeure. If Daido/Mitsui had gotten the ships back from the Navy, or if they had won their lawsuit for compensation against the Japanese government, then they would have had to pay that money to Daido. However, since Daido/Mitsui never got any compensation, and because the ships were sunk by torpedos, Maritime law - which is international in scope - says that under the doctrines of "impossibility" or "commercial frustration of purpose" that Daido/Mitsui is not responsible for payment to Zhongwei. Basically, the seizure of the ships, plus their destruction, means that Daido/Mitsui doesn't have any obligations to pay. (every country but China follows this maritime rule of law.)

The ugly part of this lawsuit, however, is that the plaintiffs had tried to sue the Japanese government, which is the real responsible party, but because of the 1972 Joint Communique no further claims could be made against the Japanese government for war-related actions. With urging from the Communist Party however, the plaintiffs then took the lawsuit directly against Mitsui instead of the Japanese government. Because the Chinese "judges" are merely pawns of the Communist Party, of course they wrongly ruled in favor of Zhongwei descendants. This "legal" case is nothing but a political, xenophobic action to stir up anti-Japan sentiment in the face of declining economic conditions in China. Nothing new there.

BTW Mitsui just paid the $28 mil ransom demanded by the Communist Party to get their ship back. Piracy.

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Japan would be wise to remove their factories from China, which would have many benefits, such as increasing good jobs at home, and increasing what used to be the famous Japanese quality.

China has never caught up with 20th century, let alone the 21st century. They are still a nation of starving, diseased peasants. With close to the same land mass of the continental U.S., they have more than a billion people who live in horrible conditions.

China has never been communist, but a brutal dictatorship. The foundation of communism was ownership of the means of production by the workers and equality, neither of which has ever come close to occurring. Now, China is owned by global corporations, such as Boeing, General Electric, Apple, Exxon-Mobile, Toyota, Nikon, Braun, etc., which means it has morphed into a fascist dictatorship, lead by the super-wealthy, power-elite. Does it sound like communism that China now has the world's fastest growing class of millionaires and billionaires?

Without the foreign ownership of Fascist China, China would quickly revert to an agrarian economy of ALL peasants living in mud and stick huts, raising sick, skinny ducks and pigs!

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Interesting is that no English language newspaper reported about this incident. It was on Bloomberg very briefly and then disappeared. Guess no media wants to offend or anger the Chinese. My conclusion is that most English language media are bought over or only report "pro-China" news. What a shame.

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