Chinese Workers Seek Damage From Japanese Firm For Wartime Labor

Five groups of wartime Chinese workers and their relatives have urged a Japanese firm to pay damages for what they called forced labor for which they were taken to Japan during World War II.

A delegation of the groups handed over a written request in this regard to the Shanghai office of the Japanese company Mitsubishi Materials on Tuesday.

They claim that 3,765 people were taken from China to Japan during the war and forced to work in mines in harsh conditions. The workers sought an apology from the company and a compensation of $16,000 for each of them, Japanese media reported.

One group member said his father was forced to work in Fukuoka in western Japan, and he sought a settlement as soon as possible for the sake of the two countries' true friendship.

Mitsubishi Materials' head office said the issue could not be settled without the involvement of the Japanese government, as the company employed the workers then in line with a national policy.

The groups' representatives had visited the Japanese Embassy in Beijing to hand over a letter addressed to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe seeking an apology from his government and adequate compensation for the suffering the workers had endured in Japan.

China and South Korea are peeved about Japan's imperial past and its wartime wrongdoing such as forced labor and military brothels where Korean women were forced to entertain Japanese soldiers during World War II.

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