Mitsubishi Built Memorial for Chinese Forced Labor Victims

  • By Sung Ho-chul

    July 06, 2022 12:17

    Japan's Mitsubishi, which operated a mine on Hashima Island that exploited forced labor from Korea and China during World War II, built a monument for Chinese workers but none for Korean victims.

    The belated revelation comes on the eve of the selloff of Mitsubishi's Korean assets after it refused to comply with a court order to compensate Korean slave laborers.

    Mitsubishi Materials (formerly Mitsubishi Mining) built the memorial in Nagasaki in November last year. Engraved on the stone are the names of 845 Chinese forced laborers with an epitaph saying, "We admit our failure to truly face the historical facts and feel sincerely responsible for human rights abuses committed against Chinese people and want to express profound regret and heartfelt mourning."

    A man looks at a memorial commemorating Chinese forced laborers in Nagasaki, Japan on June 30. /Yonhap

    In 2016, the Japanese company admitted forcing Chinese people to labor in its factories and agreed to pay 100,000 yuan in compensation to each victim. The memorial was part of the promise. Similar memorials have apparently been built at the sites of mines in Akita, Fukuoka, Hokkaido and Miyagi.

    But Mitsubishi Materials and affiliate Mitsubishi Heavy Industries have refused to apologize to or compensate Korean victims. Mitsubishi Heavy's assets in Korea have been seized over its failure to comply with the compensation order of the Supreme Court here and are to be sold off in the next couple of months unless a solution can be found.

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