Chinese continue to seek justice for Japanese bombings

Chinese continue to seek justice for Japanese bombings
At her home in Chengdu, Sichuan province, Su Liangxu displays a letter describing the atrocities that her family suffered during the Japanese bombings in the province between 1938 and 1944.

Su Liangxiu, 84, boarded a plane in Chengdu, Sichuan province, at 1:45 pm on June 1, bound for Tokyo. At 1 am on June 2, her connecting flight took off from Hong Kong, and she arrived in Tokyo at 6:25 am. Su said she didn't dread the laborious journey or overnight flight. "I am seeking justice that has been delayed for 73 years," she said.

She will appear in Tokyo District Court on Wednesday to narrate the sufferings of her family during the Japanese bombings of Chengdu during the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression (1937-45), and to join with other victims in seeking compensation.

On July 27, 1941, Japanese planes targeted civilians in a Chengdu air raid. Su's grandmother, mother, two aunts and two younger brothers died. Su was seriously injured.

"My right hip was dislocated, and my limbs were burned in the fire after the explosion. Because of the injury, I've had to walk slowly all my life," said Su, showing a scar about 7 centimeters long on one knee.

Wednesday will mark the 29th court session since 2006 that deals with Japan bombing of civilian targets in Chongqing and Sichuan.

From Feb 18, 1938, to Aug 23, 1943, Chongqing was bombed more than 100 times. It is estimated that 9,513 Japanese aircraft dropped 21,593 bombs, including some laden with bacteria, killing 11,889 and injuring 14,100.

Chengdu underwent 31 bombing attacks from Nov 8, 1938, to Dec 18, 1944. The dead and injured numbered 5,337, according to the Chengdu Civil Air Defence Office.

With the help of Japanese lawyer Keiichiro Ichinose, victims of the bombings first appeared in the Tokyo court in 2006. Each victim sought 600,000 yuan ($96,774).

On May 7, Luo Baoqing, an 89-year-old resident of Leshan, Sichuan province, made a statement on behalf of his father, Luo Huaide, who was killed along with four employees in his shop during a raid on Aug 19, 1939.

On May 21, Ma Fucheng, a 68-year-old from Songpan county, Sichuan province, told the court that his grandmother, aunt and brother were killed by the bombings on June 23, 1941.

"All the victims' relatives are seeking compensation for the indiscriminate bombing," said Liu Shilong, a Sichuan University history professor.

Indiscriminate bombing refers to air attacks that don't differentiate between military targets and civilian residential areas.

Xu Bin, a lawyer with the Junyi Law Office in Chengdu, said, "The US bombed Tokyo in 1945 and caused nearly 100,000 deaths. Japan sued the US for indiscriminate bombing, and the Japanese court ruled in Japan's favour."

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