Date of letter:1995-05-04
Address of author:Beijing City
Date of event:1943-1945
Location of event:Bazhou City (formerly Ba County), Langfang City, Hebei Province
Name of author:Wu Min
Name(s) of victim(s):Wu Wenrong (Wu Min’s father), Zhang Liangchen, Wu Zengrong, Jia Yunfeng
Type of atrocity:Slave Laborers(SL）
Other details:In October 1943, my father Wu Wenrong was caught by the Japanese soldiers in Ba County of Hebei Province and sent to the concentration camp in Beijing. Along with him, Zhang Liangchen, Wu Zengrong and Jia Yunfeng were also caught. Later they were sent to Japan as Slave Laborerss. They worked in the aircraft manufacturing plant, and did not return home until October 1945. The experience of being caught was recorded in my father’s files which are preserved in Beijing.
Declaration on Demanding Damage Compensation
My father is Wu Wenrong, aka Wu Junfa, born in 1926 in Nanmeng Village, Baxian County, Hebei Province in China. Fifty years ago, the Japanese invaders waged all-out invasion war, they burned, killed, looted everywhere on the Chinese territory, and committed all sorts of atrocities, towering crimes, and brought huge war disaster to the Chinese people. Unfortunately, my father became an innocent victim—— he was captured by the Japanese invaders and detained at Beijing Xiyuan Concentration Camp for as long as 5 months, later he was transported from Tanggu in Tianjin to Japan by a cargo ship to work as slave labor, and tasted all kinds of hardships……
Today, in the days to commemorate 50th anniversary of the victory of global anti-fascist war and 50th anniversary of the victory of the Anti-Japanese War by the Chinese people, as family members and offsprings of victim, we herby declare that we strongly demand the Japanese government to give damage compensation to my father!
The following is a brief introduction of persecution process:
In October 1943, my father was captured by the Japanese army in Nanmeng Village, Baxian County, Hebei Province, and sent by a military truck to a concentration camp in Xiyuan, Beijing, where he was detained for as long as over 5 months. Those captured at the same time included Zhang Liangchen, and Wu Zengrong (uncle elder brother) from Nanmeng Village, and Jia Yunfeng from Lijiaying Village etc.
In March 1944, back then my father was less than 18 year old, he was sent by the Japanese invaders with military truck to Tanggu Port in Tainjin, where he was stripped clean, and received bathing, disinfection, rubdown, and vaccination, each Chinese slave labor was given a vest printed with serial number, then the Japanese officer used a roster to register name, age, native place, serial number……After that all Chinese slave labors were forced to board a ship, then the cargo ship set sail, the slave labors on the ship shed painful tears when leaving their motherland……At such moment, the Japanese soldiers on the deck switched on record player, while listing to Japanese songs, they monitored Chinese slave labors……In this way, my father along with many other victims were transported to Kawada Village, Tone County, Gunma Prefecture, in Japan to work as a waterway digging slave labor (perhaps digging tunnel), and experienced hardships including hunger, cold, fatigue, humiliation and disease……
In February 1945, my father together with other slave labors were arranged by the Japanese to work near Gokkan Railway Station, and took part in the construction of Yamauchi underground aircraft factory, the heavy physical labor nearly cost my father’s life! He worked till October 1945 when he retuned to Qingdao in China. In other words: from October 1943 till October 1945, within these two years my father lived a life of prisoner and slave labor under the custody of the Japanese, he lost personal freedom as a Chinese, and had to receive ravage and heavy beating from the Japanese, mentally and physically he suffered severe trauma, this is a debt of blood and tear!
It is worth mentioning that: In August 1945, Hiroshima and Nagasaki were hit by American atomic bombs, but my father said no one knew the news at the place where he worked, Gunma Prefecture is a remote mountainous area, because when Japan surrendered on August 15, 1945, the Chinese slave labors there also knew nothing at the time, they only felt the control of Japanese toward Chinese slave labors “became loose” ……Furthermore, whenever my father mentioned his experience as a slave labor, he always mentioned daylily, persimmon trees, and black date trees on the mountain, he also said the place produced soybean, and potato……based on these pieces of information, our whole family inferred: Gunma Prefecture, Kawada Village in Tone County and Gokkan Railway Station Yamauchi Aircraft Factory might be located in remote mountainous zone in Japan…… Please note: Those captured concurrently along with my father by the Japanese Army to work as slave labors also include Zhang Liangcheng of the same village, and Jia Yunfeng from Lijiaying Village, these two persons are still alive, and live respectively in Nanmeng Village and Lijiaying Village, Naxian County, in Hebei Province.
After Beijing was liberated, my father worked at Beijing Sengli Garment Factory, currently, my father’s personnel file is still being kept at Beijing Dongcheng District Garment Management Office, in the file it clearly stated my father’s experience of being captured by the Japanese Army to work as a slave labor in Japan. Unfortunately, my father passed away on June 30, 1994, due to heart disease, before death, his only wish was to demand the Japanese government to provide fair compensation for his persecution experience, he also demanded the Japanese government to apologize for all victims in China……
Recently, when we were sorting out personal belongings of my whole family, we discovered my father’s manuscript outline and the opening part, which mainly described his recollection of the bitter experience at Xiyuan Concentration Camp and working as a slave labor during the Anti-Japanese war, unfortunately he passed away due to cardiac infarction before he finished his writing. In order to fulfill the wish of my father on his dead bed, as family members of Wu Wenrong (Wu Junfa), we strongly demand the Japanese government to earnestly treat the “Declaration on Demanding Damage Compensation” with signatures of every member of my family, and must reasonably solve leftover problems after the war, and must give damage compensation to Chinese slave labors.
In order to safeguard world peace, minimize disaster caused by war, rationally solve problems left behind by war, according to the principle of “International Law”: “Defeat nation which wages invasion should pay compensation to victory nation”, this is the rule and humanitarian guideline jointly followed by the international community. Therefore, as the offsprings of the victim, it is fully justified for us to demand compensation from the Japanese government.
Recently I learned from newspaper that: Japanese Prime Minister Tomiichi MURAYAMA once delivered a speech on August 31, 1994, whose contents were about deep and profound reflections on the invasion war waged by Japan, and put forward a “Peace Friendship Exchange Program” with total amount of 100 billion yen scheduled to begin in 1995 toward neighboring Asian countries. Murayama emphasized: In order not to repeat war disaster, what’s important is not to forget past war, do not avoid past mistakes, and make frequently efforts to strive for long lasting world peace. Murayama also said: In the future it would give “substantive compensation” to war victims through the form of civilian funds and government aid. The Japanese government will actively adopt measures, properly handle post-war leftover problems involving Asian neighboring countries. [Excerpted from page 4 of “Beijing Daily” September 1, 1994——Dispatch of Xinhua News Agency Tokyo August 31 (journalist Zhang Huanli)]
From newspapers I read the news about post-war compensation for victims by the Japanese government, we believe and we expect the Japanese government to solve the claim issue of Chinese slave labor victims with real action.
Family member of Chinese slave labor victim Wu Wenrong (Wu Junfa): Wu Min, Wu Chang, Wu Xu
Contact address: Wu Min, Measurement Office of Beijing Shuguang Electrical Machinery Factory
Postal code: 100028
Tel: 467.4131 to Ext 420, ask for: Wu Min
May 4, 1995