While there were many atrocities that happened during WWII, Mitsubishi has become the first private Japanese corporation to apologize for what transpired in the past.
Mitsubishi Materials Corporation’s predecessor Mitsubishi Mining Co. used captured American soldiers as slave laborers and forced them to work alongside other POWs from Britain, China, Korea, and the Philippians. The Mitsubishi Mining Co. supplied the materials needed to produce Mitsubishi’s Zero fighter aircraft that was used by Japan’s Navy.
A representative from Mitsubishi offered the apology in a news conference held at the Simon Wiesenthal Center Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles on July 19th. This apology comes only weeks before the 70th anniversary of Japan’s surrender that occurred August 15, 1945, which ended the war.
“In keeping with the spirit of our company’s mission statement, today we apologize remorsefully for the tragic events in our past, and expresses our profound determination to work toward a better future,” said Hikaru Kimura, a senior executive officer of Mitsubishi Materials.
Former prisoner of war James Murphy was in attendance for Mitsubishi’s apology to its WWII POWs and said that it touched his heart because of how sincere it felt to him.