Mitsubishi's apology insincere: Chinese lawyer

By Chen Xia
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, June 3, 2016
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Mitsubishi Materials' apology to forced Chinese laborers during World War II is insincere and the lawsuit against the company will continue, said a Chinese lawyer on Wednesday after the Japanese company reached a legal settlement with three forced Chinese laborers, the Shanghai-based Wenhui Daily reported.

Chinese nationals on behalf of the wartime Chinese forced laborers in Japan signs a deal with Mitubishi Materials in Beijing on June 1, 2016. [Photo:]

Chinese nationals on behalf of the wartime Chinese forced laborers in Japan sign a deal with Mitubishi Materials in Beijing on June 1, 2016. [Photo/]

The three forced Chinese laborers have the right to sign the deal, but the lawyer team representing the Chinese forced laborers will carry on with the lawsuit and continue to defend the truth and the rights of those who have been hurt, said lawyer Kang Jian.

A public statement has been issued by the Chinese lawyer team, who said that Mitsubishi Materials was playing with words in the agreement, as the money it promised to give to the victims was labeled as a fund "for Sino-Japan friendliness" and not as compensation.

According to the statement, Mitsubishi Materials deliberately avoided mentioning in the agreement that it had colluded with the Japanese government to kidnap and enslave Chinese laborers during wartime, thereby avoiding its liability to make corresponding compensation.

The Chinese plaintiffs negotiated with Mitsubishi Materials on this matter, but their request to change the expression was refused and the negotiation was halted on Feb. 11, 2015. The company has never contacted the plaintiffs afterward, the statement said.

Previous media reports quoted Mitsubishi Materials as saying that the company has found more than 1,000 forced Chinese laborers or surviving family members, and 95 percent of them agreed to the settlement. But the Chinese lawyers' statement said this is not true.

Zhang Yang, whose father was a forced laborer, said on his father's behalf that the settlement is not agreed to by all and won't be accepted. "A monument in memory of the dead must be erected, and an apology must also be made. We would rather see these two requests met than receive any financial compensation," he said.

Mitsubishi Materials has agreed to offer an apology and compensate 100,000 yuan (US$15,000) per person to the nearly 4,000 Chinese nationals who were forced to work in labor camps during World War II.

At least 39,000 Chinese people were forcibly brought to Japan from China between 1943 and 1945. Almost 7,000 of them died there because of the rigors of their labor, the squalid conditions and a lack of basic essentials like food and water.

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