Japanese Mitsubishi corporation not compensating forced labourers

This 20 July 2015 video says about itself:

Mitsubishi apologises for WWII forced labour

The handshake that ends 70 years of suffering.

Mitsubishi has become the first Japanese corporation to offer an apology for the use of American prisoners of war for forced labour during the Second World War.

Translated from Dutch NOS radio today:

Mitsubishi refuses to speak to Dutch forced laborers

Mitsubishi will not talk to Dutch people who did forced labour in the Second World War. The new owner of energy company Eneco says that the company was founded in 1954 and is therefore not responsible for what happened during the war under the name Mitsubishi.

That is total bullshit, Messrs Mitsubishi billionaires. After 1945, the Mitsubishi Group had been broken up by United States occupation authorities because of war crimes. However, because of the Korean war, the Mitsubishi Group came together again.

7300 Dutch

The board of the Japanese Honorary Debts Foundation wanted to talk to the multinational corporation, because in the Second World War many Dutch people were employed as prisoners of war in Mitsubishi factories and shipyards in Japan. The foundation asked for help from several municipalities that are shareholders of Eneco.

An estimated 7,300 Dutch people performed forced labor during the Second World War. At least 661 of them did that for mines and shipyards of the Mitsubishi group. Eleven of them are believed to be still alive. The foundation does not only want to talk to the company, but also apologies and financial compensation.

Others did get apologies and compensation

The foundation is disappointed with the news, but not surprised. “I expected this,” chairman Jan van Wagtendonk told Rijnmond local TV. The foundation was informed by letter by alderman Arjan van Gils of the municipality of Rotterdam, who is also chairman of the shareholders of Eneco.

“As a board, we are now looking into the sequel,” says Van Wagtendonk. “I am left with the question: why don’t they want to talk?”

In other cases, the Japanese group has previously apologized and compensated after government pressure or a lawsuit. That has happened to American, Korean and Chinese ex-forced laborers.

Mitsubishi, pay forced labourers, court decides

This 29 November 2018 video from South Korea says about itself:

South Korea Supreme Court orders Mitsubishi to compensate Koreans for WWII forced labor

The Koreans forced to work for the Japanese firm Mitsubishi during World War Two… have finally won… in two separate court cases.

The South Korean Supreme Court has ordered the company to pay almost two dozen victims for the unpaid work they did decades ago. Japan has responded angrily. Lee Jiwon reports.

After an 18-year legal battle, the Supreme Court decided on Thursday, in the first case, to uphold a lower court ruling ordering Mitsubishi Heavy Industries to compensate the 23 plaintiffs for unpaid work at Mitsubishi factories back in 1944.

The court ordered the firm to pay around 71-thousand U.S. dollars to each of them, or in case they’re deceased — their relatives. The Supreme Court reasoned that the 1965 agreement,… under which Japan paid South Korea 500 million dollars to normalize their diplomatic relations,… did not terminate the right of individuals to seek reparations.

In the second ruling ruling, the court ordered Mitsubishi… to compensate four elderly women and a relative of a plaintiff who has died. The plaintiffs first sued Mitsubishi back in 1999 in Japan for making them work without pay at a Mitsubishi aircraft plant in Nagoya in 1944.

After losing their lawsuit in Japan in 2008, the plaintiffs filed another one in Korea in 2012. The Japanese firm has continuously appealed,… but Seoul’s Supreme Court on Thursday upheld previous rulings that it is inhumane and illegal to force teenage girls to work at a munition plant.

The ruling comes about a month after the top court upheld a 2013 ruling that ordered a Japanese steelmaker [Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp.] to pay each of four Korean plaintiffs for unpaid work during World War II.

That case and the latest one have deepened the divide between the two countries. The Japanese government has once again strongly protested. Tokyo’s foreign ministry summoned the South Korean ambassador to register its objections, and its foreign minister Taro Kono released a statement saying the ruling is unacceptable and goes against the 1965 agreement. Kono also strongly urged the South Korean government to take appropriate steps or Japan [would] do all it can, including an international trial, to defend what economic activities he said were “legal”.

Mitsubishi said that it deeply regrets the ruling… and that it will talk with the Japanese government to formulate a response.

South Korea’s foreign ministry said it respects the court’s ruling. It urged Japan to stop overreacting… and summoned the Japanese ambassador to object to Tokyo’s strong words. The ministry also said it will continue discussions within the government about a response to the recent forced labor rulings. It will also work to heal the wounds of the victims, while at the same time, striving to forge a future-oriented relationship with Japan.

According to Dutch NOS TV today (translated):

The expectation is that Mitsubishi will disregard the decisions of the Supreme Court. Lawyers of the former forced laborers want to seize Mitsubishi’s assets in South Korea, write South Korean media.

Mitsubishi apology to forced labourers, now that most are dead

This video from the USA says about itself:

Mitsubishi to Apologize for American POWs‘ Forced Labor in WWII

19 July 2015

A major Japanese corporation planned to offer a landmark apology on Sunday for using US prisoners of war for forced labor during the second world war.

A senior Mitsubishi Materials executive was to offer the apology to former POWs during a ceremony at the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles.

Rabbi Abraham Cooper, an associate dean at the center who focuses on Holocaust education, said he believed the move to be unprecedented.

Japan’s government issued a formal apology to American POWs in 2009 and again in 2010. But the dwindling ranks of POWs who were used as slaves at mines and industrial plants have so far had little luck in getting apologies from the corporations who used them.

Read more here.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Japan: Mitsubishi will issue an apology to WW2 PoWs

Thursday 23rd July 2015

NON-EXECUTIVE director Yukio Okamoto disclosed yesterday that huge transnational Mitsubishi Materials hopes to apologise to former British, Dutch and Australian prisoners forced to work in Mitsubishi mines and factories.

The company also intends to reach an amicable solution with Chinese forced labourers, following a landmark apology to US prisoners earlier this week.

“If there is such an opportunity, we will do the same apology,” he said, admitting that prisoners brought to Japan during the second world war had been subjected to inexcusable working conditions.

“What other companies will do, we don’t know … Ours is one of those who tortured PoWs most, so we have to apologise,” he said.

The former diplomat was among company officials who delivered an apology to surviving US PoWs and family members on Sunday in Los Angeles.

Chinese slave labourers sent to work in Japan and their descendants are suing Mitsubishi for financial compensation in China.

Japanese corporations’ Korean slave labourers win victory

This video about World War II is called Comfort Woman (Military Sexual Slavery by JAPAN).

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

South Korean wartime slaves win right to compensation

Friday 25 May 2012

by Our Foreign Desk

Seoul Supreme Court ruled today in favour of nine South Koreans who demand that major Japanese firms cough up compensation for enslaving them during Japan‘s colonial rule of Korea.

The ruling overturned lower court decisions that had barred them from seeking unpaid wages and financial redress from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd and Nippon Steel Corp, which forced them to toil without pay from 1941-45.

The court said that it’s the first time a ruling has favoured South Koreans seeking such compensation from Japanese firms.

The matter will now be sent back to a lower court to determine compensation. A lawyer for the nine workers says property owned by the two firms in South Korea could be seized if they refuse to pay.

“Japanese courts previously ruled against forced Korean labourers, but the rulings were based on the assumption that Japan’s colonial rule of the Korean peninsula and the Korean people was legal,” the Supreme Court said.

“According to the constitution of the Republic of Korea, Japan’s colonial rule over the Korean peninsula was an illegal occupation,” it added.

“The present-day Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Nippon Steel are essentially the same companies they were in the 1940s and should be responsible for compensatory payments.”

During imperial Japan’s 1910-45 rule of Korea millions of people were drafted into the Japanese workforce and the military, while an estimated 200,000 women were forced into sexual enslavement at brothels for expeditionary forces in China, Myanmar, the Philippines and Singapore.

Mitsubishi making bluefin tuna extinct

From British daily The Independent:

Revealed: the bid to corner world’s bluefin tuna market

Mitsubishi freezing fish to sell later as stock numbers plummet toward extinction

By Martin Hickman, Consumer Affairs Correspondent

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Japan’s sprawling Mitsubishi conglomerate has cornered a 40 per cent share of the world market in bluefin tuna, one of the world’s most endangered fish.

A corporation within the £170bn Mitsubishi empire is importing thousands of tonnes of the fish from Europe into Tokyo’s premium fish markets, despite stocks plummeting towards extinction in the Mediterranean.

Bluefin tuna frozen at -60C now could be sold in several years’ time for astronomical sums if Atlantic bluefin becomes commercially extinct as forecast, a result of the near free-for-all enjoyed by the tuna fleet.

A bluefin tuna sold for a record $1.76 million at an auction in Tokyo, Japan Saturday, reports the Associated Press: here.

WWF and tuna: here.

Juvenile bluefin tunas can dive to depths of more than 1000 meters: here.

Protests over tuna industry development plans in Papua New Guinea: here.

Sushi lovers should think twice before ordering another helping of maguro rolls. Mercury levels in restaurant tuna sushi are higher than those of supermarket tuna sushi, a new study reveals: here.

Environmentalists Slam ICCAT for “Meagre” Bluefin Quota Cuts: here.

November 2010: New data seen by WWF and Greenpeace reveal that the 2010 fishing activities for Atlantic bluefin tuna in the Mediterranean Sea have been as riddled with rule-flouting and traceability shortcomings as ever before. The conservation organisations are urging international fisheries regulators to put an end to the depletion of this key species as they meet in Paris: here.

Bluefin tuna still largely unprotected as conservation conference ends: here.

So many reasons to not choose Bluefin for your meal! Here.

WWF uncovers massive unreported trade of Atlantic Bluefin tuna through Panama: here.

Far more bluefin sold than reported caught: report here.

Rare white bluefin tuna arrives at Tsukiji Market, what a shame: here.

October 2012. WWF has welcomed the first positive signs of stock increase in the East Atlantic and Mediterranean bluefin tuna stock revealed in the recent scientific assessment by the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) which -if confirmed- would mean a turning point for this threatened species: here.

Bluefin tuna (Thunnus orientalis) spawn in Japanese waters before swimming to the Californian coast. Researchers who tested 15 fish caught after the [Fukushima] disaster in March 2011 found that all contained traces of caesium-134, a water-soluble radioisotope spewed into the ocean by the meltdown. Fish that travelled to California before 2011 did not carry the isotope. The results were published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences: here.

Greenpeace warns Taiwan against dismantling tuna protection: here.

Tuna washes ashore on Isle of Mull: here.

How sustainable is tuna? New global catch database exposes dangerous fishing trends: here.

Understanding the impact of modern fishing techniques is critical to ensure the sustainability of the Western and Central Pacific Ocean (WCPO) tuna fishery — the largest tuna fishery in the world that accounts for 55% of the total tropical tuna catch and provides up to 98% of government revenue for some Pacific Island nations: here.