LOS ANGELES (AP) — A major Japanese corporation plans to offer a landmark apology for using U.S. prisoners of war for forced labor during World War II.
A senior executive of Mitsubishi Materials will offer the apology to former POWs at a ceremony Sunday at the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles.
The center says Mitsubishi executive Hikaru Kimura will offer the apology to 94-year-old James Murphy and other ex-POWs who will be in attendance.
Rabbi Abraham Cooper of the Wiesenthal Center says he believes it’s the first time a major Japanese company has ever made such a gesture.
Japan’s government issued a formal apology to American POWs in 2009. But the still-living former POWs used as slaves at mines and industrial plants have previously had little luck in getting apologies from corporations.