Click to enlarge — Xinhua/Wang Haofei
Sun Yuanxin, 1 of 20 survivors, views remains of hundreds who died at this mine
A Japanese company that used Chinese forced labour in its coalmines during the second world war has agreed to compensate and apologise to thousands of victims and their families.
Mitsubishi Materials, one of dozens of Japanese companies that used such labourers from China and the Korean peninsula, said it would pay US$15,000 to each of the surviving victims and the families of those who have died.
If all 3,765 people entitled to compensation come forward, the total payout could reach US$56m, making it the biggest deal of its kind so far – From Imperial Japan.
“We have come to the conclusion that we will extend an apology [to the victims] and offer the money as a proof of that apology,” a Mitsubishi Materials spokesman said…
The victims hailed the decision a victory in their long quest for Japanese companies to take responsibility for bringing an estimated 40,000 Chinese to Japan between 1943 and 1945 to work in factories and mines amid a wartime labour shortage.
Almost 7,000 of them died due to the harsh working conditions and malnutrition…
Some of the relatives of former labourers, however, were concerned the settlement was in lieu of official compensation from the Japanese government, which insists that all reparation claims were covered by postwar treaties with former victims of Japanese militarism.
I’m surprised they didn’t wait for a nice round number — like 100 years, eh? Just continue the official Japanese policy of doing little or nothing to compensate anyone for the war crimes committed in the name of that militarist nation. Might only be a dozen or so survivors left by then.
They know they will be backed up all the way by Uncle Sugar – who gets to use Japan’s territory as their own private aircraft carrier and military barracks to “interact” with Asia.