APOWs at Aso Mining during World War II have captured most of the headlines since Taro Aso became prime minister last fall, but other forced labor redress efforts are gaining momentum that will continue regardless of who becomes Japan’s next leader.
American POWs have received a historic apology and expect to be included in a Japanese reconciliation program soon. The remains of Koreans conscripted by the Japanese military are being sent home to South Korea, as new details are emerging about the unpaid wages for civilian labor conscripts now held by the Bank of Japan. A Japanese construction company is now moving to compensate Chinese forced laborers, while an influential mining firm has expressed willingness to follow suit. There are also signs the global trend toward righting past wrongs is picking back up — and would be boosted by a change of ruling party in Tokyo.