Many Americans were held as POWs during World War II by Japanese. About 500 of them were forced to work in the mines run by Mitsubishi’s predecessor company, Mitsubishi Mining Co. It was slavery in every way, according to Mr James Murphy (94) one of the two survivors, who spent a year at a copper mine near Hanawa, ” No food, no medicine, no clothing, no sanitation.”
The Japanese government had officially tendered an apology to American former POWs five years ago. In an important gesture ahead of the 70th anniversary of the end of the war in August, Mitsubishi had offered its apologies to American Prisoners of War. A senior executive, Hikaru Kimura, expressed remorse to Mr. James Murphy fit enough to accept in person at Los Angeles. Even though there is no cash compensation, he found the statement of apology very sincere, humble and revealing. Relatives of other former prisoners were also present at the ceremony at the Simon Wiesenthal Centre.
He had forgiven the captors long ago, but the apology will promote a better understanding , a better friendship and closer ties with our ally, Japan, he said.