The company becomes the first in Japan to provide redress despite the nation’s Supreme Court ruling that the former slave workers do not have the right to claim compensation. Julian Ryall reports from Tokyo.
Mitsubishi Materials Corp. has concluded an agreement with groups representing more than 3,700 Chinese who were used as forced laborers in Japan during World War II.
The settlement, reached in August last year but signed in Beijing on Wednesday, June 1, includes an apology to the former laborers and relatives of those who have died, as well as paying a lump sum of 100,000 yuan (13,625 euros, $15,000) to each individual.
The Japanese company – which is part of the giant Mitsubishi conglomerate – also committed to building memorials at coal mines operated by Mitsubishi Mining Corp., the name under which Mitsubishi Materials operated at the time.
It will also establish a fund and make a donation to support search for other former laborers who are not covered by the initial agreement.
The deal is significant because it is the first time that a Japanese company has decided to apologize and pay compensation to Chinese victims in a case involving a claim for damages already rejected by Japan’s Supreme Court. Read more