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Mitsubishi apologizes to WWII POWs


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Sep 30, 2011
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TOKYO — As Japan prepares to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, one of its largest corporations has given a long-awaited apology for wartime atrocities.

At a ceremony in Los Angeles on Sunday, a representative for Mitsubishi Materials Corporation apologized for using captured American soldiers as slave laborers.

Mitsubishi Materials is the first private corporation to express such remorse, although the Japanese government has made repeated apologies.

The solemn act of contrition comes far too late for most victims. Mitsubishi says it was only able to locate two living survivors. But former prisoner of war James Murphy warmly accepted the apology, which comes just weeks before the August 15th anniversary of Japan‘s 1945 surrender.

Forced labor added to Japan‘s arsenal

Murphy, a 94-year-old American, was in his early 20s when he became a Japanese prisoner of war during World War II. He said he was "elated" by the apology, which he had waited to hear in the seven decades since he was freed.

Murphy says he survived horrific conditions as a forced laborer for Mitsubishi Materials‘ predecessor Mitsubishi Mining Co., which supplied materials used to manufacture, among other things, Mitsubishi‘s feared Zero fighter aircraft used by the Japanese Navy from 1940 to 1945.

Mitsubishi has admitted to holding nearly 900 American prisoners-of-war when allied forces liberated its labor camps in 1945 during the final days of the war.

Twenty-seven Americans died in the camps and others complained of lifelong health problems from grueling conditions, frequent beatings, poor sanitation, and lack of food and medical care.
Mitsubishi apologizes to WWII POWs Las Vegas Review-Journal

They were the only corporation to ave apologized.

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