National / History

Mitsubishi unit also owes apology to Chinese forced laborers, Xinhua says

Kyodo

China’s official Xinhua News Agency said in an article that Mitsubishi Materials Corp. should also apologize to Chinese workers, the day after the company delivered an apology to former American prisoners of war forced to work for the company during World War II.

On Sunday, Hikaru Kimura, a senior executive of the company, offered a “most remorseful apology” to the nearly 900 U.S. POWs subjected to hard labor by Mitsubishi Mining Co., the predecessor of Mitsubishi Materials.

The Xinhua article, published Monday, noted that numerous Chinese were conscripted by that company as well as other Japanese businesses during the war. The Japanese government and companies are showing a “humble” face to the United States while displaying an “arrogant” face to Asian neighbors who also suffered, the article said.

In February 2014, a group of Chinese survivors of wartime forced labor filed a lawsuit in a Beijing court seeking compensation and apologies from Mitsubishi Materials as well as Nippon Coke & Engineering Co., formerly known as Mitsui Mining Co.

The article said there has been no positive response from the two companies.

On Sunday, Kimura said if the opportunity presents itself, the company would also consider extending apologies to other people in different countries.

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