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Politics & Law

China seizes Japanese ship for “failure to return ship leased before World War II”

A container ship owned by Mitsui O.S.K. Lines of Tokyo

A container ship owned by Mitsui O.S.K. Lines of Tokyo

Shanghai Marine Court has seized a huge Japanese ore carrier to enforce its verdict on a dispute over a defunct Japanese company‘s failure to return a ship rented 80 years ago.

Singtao Daily says that the ship Baosteel Emotion was a new ore carrier built in 2011. It is 320 meters long and 54 meters wide with a displacement of 280,000 tons. It was berthed at Zhejiang Province China when it was seized on April 19.

The litigation stems from a lease of two ships in the 1930s by Chinese Chung Wei Steamship Company to a Japanese shipping firm. Two ships leased to the Japanese firm were taken over by Japanese military after war broke out in 1937 and were later sunk.

The lessee of the two ships in the 1930s was the Daido Shipping Co, the predecessor of the owner of the seized ship, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines of Tokyo. Two grandchildren of Chung Wei’s owner, Chen Zhen and Chen Chun has sued Mitsui at Shanghai Marine Court for compensation since 1988. The 1930’s ship owner was the now defunct Zhongwei Shipping Co.

SCMP says, “The maritime court awarded the Chens nearly 3 billion yen in damages and compensation in 2007. The Supreme People’s Court rejected the Japanese company’s appeal in 2010, according to the maritime court.

“The Shanghai court served an enforcement notice on Mitsui in late 2011 but negotiations between the Chens and Mitsui ended with no result, prompting the court to seize Baosteel Emotion on Saturday.”

Japanese media regarded the seizure as a rare event that occurred due to the deterioration of bilateral relations. They are afraid that Sino-Japanese trade will be affected and Japanese enterprises’ assets may be in danger as labourers forced by the Japanese to work in Japan during the war and their offspring have been filing lawsuits for compensation at Chinese courts.

Editor’s Note: For decades, China has disallowed such claims in Chinese courts. They stated that all war-related compensation between China and Japan reached final settlement in 1972,  following normalisation of relationships between China and Japan. China now unilaterally refuses to recognise that settlement, but gives no reason as to why.

China has long claimed that contracts signed under the KMT government had no validity after the Communists came to power in 1949. This was to avoid repayment of almost one trillion dollars in unpaid Chinese war bonds (plus interest) from prior to WWII (see China could owe America one trillion dollars in pre-WWII war bond debt).

Source; Singtao Daily “Mitsui failed to return ships leased 80 years ago; Shanghai seized its ship for compensation of the losses in World War II” (summary by Chan Kai Yee based on the report in Chinese”
Source: SCMP “Shanghai court seizes Japanese ore carrier in second world war reparations dispute”


About chankaiyee2

Author of the book "Tiananmen's Tremendous Achievements" about how with the help of Tiananmen Protests, talented scholars with moral integrity seized power in the Party and state and brought prosperity to China. The second edition of the book will be published within a few days to mark the 25th anniversary of Tiananmen Protests All the parts in the first edition remain in the second edition with a few changes due to information available later and better understanding. There are also some changes for improvements of style. The new parts are Chapters 12-19 on events in China after the first edition was published: The fierce power struggle for succession between reformists and conservatives; Xi Jinping winning all elders’ support during his mysterious disappearance for 2 weeks in early September, 2012; and Xi Jinping Cyclone. Chan Kai Yee's new book: SPACE ERA STRATEGY: The Way China Beats The US An eye-opening book that tells the truth how the US is losing to China. The US is losing as it adopts the outdated strategy of Air-Sea Battle while China adopts the space era strategy to pursue integrated space and air capabilities: It is losing due to its diplomacy that has given rise to Russian-Chinese alliance. US outdated strategy has enabled China to catch up and surpass the US in key weapons: Hypersonic weapons (HGV) that Pentagon regards as the weapon that will dominate the world in the future. Aerospaceplane in China’s development of space-air bomber that can engage enemy anywhere in the world within an hour and destroy an entire aircraft carrier battle group within minutes. Anti-satellite (ASAT) weapons, anti-ASAT weapons, stealth aircrafts, drones, AEW&C, etc. The book gives detailed descriptions of China’s weapon development based on information mainly from Chinese sources that the author monitors closely. U.S. Must Not Be Beaten by China! China is not a democracy. Its political system cannot prevent the emergence of a despotic leader or stop such a leader when he begins to bring disasters to people. A few decades ago, Mao Zedong, the worst tyrant in world history did emerge and bring disasters to Chinese people. He wanted to fight a nuclear war to replace capitalism with communism but could not bring nuclear holocaust to world people as China was too weak and poor at that time. If a despot like Mao Zedong emerges when China has surpassed the US in military strength, world people will suffer the misery experienced by Chinese people in Mao era. China surpassing the US in GDP is not something to worry about as China has the heavy burden to satisfy its huge population, but China surpassing the US in military strength will be world people’s greatest concern if China remains an autocracy. US people are of much better quality than Chinese people. What they lack is a wise leader to adopt the correct strategy and diplomacy and the creative ways to use its resources in developing its military capabilities. I hope that with the emergence of a great leader, the US can put an end to its decline and remain number one in the world. China, US, space era strategy, air-sea battle, space-air bomber, arms race, weapon development, chan kai yee

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