|Plaintiff Wang Xuan displays a photo showing "rotten legs" due allegedly to biological weapons experiments conducted by Unit 731 of former Japanese Imperial Army during World War II (File photo - Aug. 22, 2002)|
Tuesday's decision by the Tokyo High Court upholds previous decisions by lower courts which determined that foreign citizens could not seek compensation directly from the Japanese government.
The lawsuit was originally filed in 1997 by 180 Chinese citizens.
The atrocities include the 1937 massacre of an estimated 100,000 to 300,000 civilians in the city of Nanjing, and actions of the notorious Unit 731, a germ warfare site located in the northeastern Chinese city of Harbin where some 200,000 people are believed to have died.
A group of Chinese researchers say they will ask the United Nations' Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to declare the ruins of Unit 731 a World Heritage site.