World / Remembering the past

Mitsubishi apology hopes rise

By Zhang Yunbi (China Daily) Updated: 2015-07-25 08:08

Mitsubishi apology hopes rise

Sun Yuanqi, 92, from Shandong province, who was forced to work in Japan during World War II, displays a scar that was caused when he was struck by a gunstock. Guo Xulei / Xinhua

Relatives of wartime forced laborers press for deal from company after breakthrough statement to US POWs

Relatives of Chinese victims of forced labor are hoping to receive a formal apology and compensation from Japanese industrial giant Mitsubishi Materials after an announcement by the company on Wednesday.

Japan's Kyodo News agency published what it said were details of the company's proposals on Friday.

Yukio Okamoto, a director of Mitsubishi Materials, said the company hopes to apologize to former British, Dutch and Australian World War II prisoners of war, and also reach an amicable solution with Chinese forced laborers.

The official was speaking after a landmark apology was made to US POWs earlier this week.

Okamoto, who was among company officials who delivered the apology to surviving US POWs and family members on Sunday in Los Angeles, said the POWs were brought to Japan to work and subjected to harsh labor conditions.

Japan invaded China before the outbreak of the global conflict, and Chinese who were sent to work in Japan and their descendants are suing for compensation in both Japanese and Chinese courts.

Kyodo News said Mitsubishi Materials will offer each of the 3,765 Chinese victims (based on the company's calculations) or their families a sincere apology and compensation of 2 million yen (100,000 yuan, or $16,000) for its wartime wrongdoing.

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