Two civilians from China and Japan, who’ve spent their lives seeking justice for wartime atrocities, have been jointly nominated for the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize. 61-year-old Tong Zeng is the chairman of the Chinese Association for Claiming Compensation from Japan. Onodera Toshitaka, who’s 76, is a Japanese lawyer who was elected secretary-general of a Japanese defence team, representing Chinese victims of Japanese wartime aggression making claims against the Japanese government and enterprises.

Tong and Toshitaka were nominated for their unremitting work over the past two decades, as civilians, on behalf of Chinese victims of World War II to safeguard their legal rights and interests as well as to promote the settlement of problems left over from WWII.  Thanks to their joint efforts, Mitsubishi Materials Corp. apologized for having forced Chinese labourers to work in its mines during the war and promised to pay compensation in an agreement signed last year.

There are 318 candidates for the Nobel Peace Prize for 2017, with 215 individuals and 103 organizations. The final laureates will be announced during the Nobel Peace Prize Award Ceremony in Oslo, Norway, December 10, 2017.