China / Society

Executive apologizes for denying invasion

By Zheng Caixiong in Guangzhou (China Daily) Updated: 2014-07-02 07:51

Production resumed at a strike-hit electronics factory in Dongguan, Guangdong province, on Tuesday after its Japanese executive apologized for denying Japan's invasion of China during World War II, local authorities said.

Masataka Kataoka, Japanese executive at the Dongguan Chang'an Rihua Electronics Factory, bowed to all of its workers in an official apology.

He said he would take back his remarks, according to a statement from the Chang'an township government.

Kataoka also promised to improve communication with workers to further improve their social benefits, the statement said.

The strike began at about 9:30 am when Kataoka said Japan never invaded China during World War II. Instead, the Japanese army helped China to shrug off the West's colonial rule.

He made the remarks during a meeting with the company's other executives.

His comments angered Chinese staff members attending the meeting, triggering the strike in which more than 1,000 employees stopped work.

They rallied in front of the factory to demand that Kataoka apologize, leaving him stranded in the company's meeting room for hours.

One worker, who did not want to be named, said: "His remarks have hurt Chinese people and he should make a public apology."

Mai Yaohua, a publicity official in Chang'an, said the township government had paid great attention to the incident.

The factory makes electronic products and parts for big-name brands including Hitachi, Panasonic, Sony, Pioneer, Aiwa and Phillips.

Mai said "Party and government officials immediately arrived on the scene to help mediate in the case." The strike had raised concern at home and abroad, he added. The company declined to comment on the incident.

Located in Chang'an Xinxing Industrial Park, the company, which was established in 1993, once employed more than 5,000 workers. With registered capital of more than HK$106 million ($13.68 million), it covers an area of more than 60,000 square meters.

(China Daily 07/02/2014 page4)

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