Beijing: Survivors of a series of bombings on a city in southwest China during World War II are seeking compensation from the Japanese government, more than seven decades after the incident killed nearly 40,000 people.
According to Xinhua, a collective civil suit was brought before the Chongqing Municipal Higher People`s Court Monday by 15 bombing survivors, including a 91 year old.
A lawyer for the victims said the compensation claim of each family varied from 1.5 million to 80 million yuan (around $237,000 to $12.6 million).
Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda is the accused, on behalf of the Japanese government.
Another lawyer representing the victims said the Chongqing court has to decide whether to try the case and respond within seven days, as required by the law.
"If the case is dismissed, we will bring it to the Supreme Court," he said.
During the war, the Japanese army indiscriminately bombed Chongqing and nearby cities between February 1938 and December 1944, Xinhua said.
An estimate by a Chinese civil group said the bombings killed 39,480 people.
Victims have filed compensation suits before Japanese courts between March 2006 and October 2009. By March 2012, more than 24 plaintiffs had testified against the wartime Japanese army in courts. The trials have not yet concluded.
Monday`s legal action, however, was the first time a Chinese group has attempted to sue the Japanese government for war atrocities at a domestic court.