Skip to comments.Ex-POWS touring Japan disappointed at not receiving apologies from firms over slave labor
Posted on 09/18/2010 9:13:24 AM PDT by Racehorse
Six former U.S. soldiers taken prisoners of war in the Philippines by the Japanese Imperial Army during World War II have failed to receive apologies from private industries that used them as slave labor.
The former POWs are currently touring Japan with their families on a visitation program sponsored by the Japanese government. While they praised the reception from some of the Japanese companies they visited, they were disappointed that none offered words of apology and insist that post-war bitterness will linger until apologies are made.
. . . representatives at Mitsui Futo (now a subsidiary of Taiheiyo Cement Corp.) where Jackfert was also forced into labor, refused to meet with the former POW on Sept. 14.
Beginning in 1999, former POWs in the U.S. filed lawsuits against Japanese companies seeking compensation and apologies. The plaintiffs lost their case when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2003 that the right to damages had been waived with the signing of the San Francisco Peace Treaty in 1951.
Former POWs have sought action by the Nippon Keidanren, arguing that companies have a moral responsibility to apologize, but to no avail. A representative of one company in question told the Mainichi that the company was avoiding making any comments lest they lead to compensation claims.
(Excerpt) Read more at mdn.mainichi.jp ...
Maybe someday their descendants will sue for reparations.
At this point, though, I think they need to consider that these particular former captors (or their decendents) are still somewhat morally deficient and will probably always be.
On the other hand, they'll always have the gratitude of the greatest nation on earth.
Japanese have amnesia regarding WWII. The only thing they know about it is that the Americans bombed Japanese civilians. They know nothing about the Bataan Death March, Rape of Nanking, etc. I know this because I worked for Japanese companies for 12 years. We should rub their noses in their WWII history. If it makes them uncomfortable, too bad.
There is not enough money to pay these guys for what they went through and whoever engineered that treaty needs hung! I have read the accounts.
Obviously, it would mean alot to them in their last few years and, in a more crass sense, be a good PR move.
What a crock:Clause 16 has served as a bar against subsequent lawsuits filed by former Allied prisoners of war against Japan. In 1998, a Tokyo court ruled against a suit brought by former Allied POW’s, citing the San Francisco Treaty.
They got sold out and the Red Cross/Red star was right in there as well.
The war ended three quarters of a century ago. Why did they wait so long?
yet they want an apology from us over hiroshima & nagasaki...
These guys were in Mitsubishi mines that even the Japanese did not work after surviving the trip there in the hold of a Maru and the Death march and Japanese prisoner or war camps? That place needed 200 Atomic bombs dropped on it not two.
You sound like “Margaret”, the missionary in the based-on-reality movie “Paradise Road”, starring Glenn Close
I suggest you watch it
“There is not enough money to pay these guys for what they went through and whoever engineered that treaty needs hung! I have read the accounts.
Absolutely! After all, war reparations in the treaty of Versailles worked out so well, didn’t they?”
We have cowards and half men abusing our warriors who suffered beyond what the written words are able to capture or relate,hanging is too good and quick on second thought.
“We should rub their noses in their WWII history. If it makes them uncomfortable, too bad.”
China will give them a practical lab exercise in that one day.
How 'bout just an 'We're sorry our company abused you', then?
Had Japan prevailed in WW2 everyone of us would be getting our teeth smashed in with a rifle butt on a daily basis for the privilege of being a slave to the Emperor. Japan has never fessed up to starting WW2 in Asia and in recent years they’ve actually gotten pugnacious about it.
Under the either the Hague or Geneva Conventions (I can't remember which, and I'm too busy to look it up again, since the hard drive I had the cites on went bad) it is permissible to make POW’s work. They have to be paid, and the working conditions have to be comparable to what your own civilians endure. If your own civilians must have a helmet and gloves, you must make helmets and gloves available to the POW’s. If you limit hours at the task to, say, 20 hours per week for your civilians you must do the same with POW’s. So forcing the POW's to work itself was not a war crime. The conditions and their treatment may or may not be crimes and/or war crimes - it depends on the facts and circumstance's each individual case.
POW’s were not paid by the Japanese after the war, since Japan and its economy had been squashed flat, therefore there was no money to make any payments. POW’s were compensated by their respective Allied governments after the war. Obviously many war crimes were perpetrated against POW’s, but those are criminal matters and were prosecuted in war crimes tribunals to the extent that cases could be made. No doubt some war criminals escaped punishment - many murderers, rapists, thieves escape punishment in America in 2010, and have every year since the country was founded.
Under the peace treaty with Japan Japan was forgiven all debts arising from the war (and the pay due to POW's was minuscule compared to the value of all property seized and/or destroyed by Japan during the course of the war). In exchange Japan gave up title to all Japanese assets in the hands of the Allied powers plus a nominal payment in compensation for all wrongful acts - look in the treaty for the amount, it's posted on the internet, as are the Hague and Geneva Conventions.
If you were Japanese and 18 in 1945, you are now 83, so few to none of the owners and/or executives of these companies had anything to do with any crimes. So what's the point of a meeting?
If they're not concerned with doing the decent thing as members of the human race, there is no point. Apologies mean nothing if they aren't heartfelt.
And for the record, no, the prisoners were NOT treated in accord with the Geneva Conventions, nor any other conventions, and they were used by entities that still exist today.
The difference is I do not presume to.