Friday, December 31, 2010
In 1942, the decision by the Tojo Hideki Administration forced about 40,000 Chinese brought to Japan into slavery, working in 135 factories (Asahi Shimbun). For the past 64 years, LDP refused to acknowledge the Japanese government’s mistakes by ignoring the slavery issue. On 23 October 2009, Nishimatsu Construction Corporation agreed with five Chinese to set up a 250 million (Japanese yen) trust fund to compensate the victims. The agreement will reimburse 360 others who had been forced to perform hard labor during WWII, build memories for those who passed away already, and make an apology by Nishimatsu. Resolving the dispute is following the 2007 decision of the Supreme Court in Hiroshima which dismissed the Chinese claims, but called for an effort to compensate the victims (Japan Times). For the first time, the Supreme Court in Japan determined that the right of individual Chinese to seek war reparations from Japan (which was abandoned under the article five of the 1972 Japan-China Joint Communiqué). Since the 1990s, after a flood of lawsuits filed by Japan’s war victims, Kajima Corporation (500 million yen) set up a fund to compensate forced laborers near the site of the Hanaoka copper mine in Akita Prefecture. By now, the Hatoyama administration needs to acknowledge the Japanese government’s mistakes 64 years ago, and begins to compensate those victims. If both the government in Germany and German companies such as BMW and Bents can make an apology and compensate the Holocaust victims, why cannot the Japanese government and the Japanese firms do the same?