Sunday, August 2, 2015

MITSUBISHI CORPORATION'S APOLOGY TO AMERICAN WWII PRISONERS OF WAR

Mr. Murphy's Memoir
click to order
 (Extensions of Remarks - July 29, 2015) [Page: E1170] --- SPEECH OF HON. LOIS CAPPS OF CALIFORNIA IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES WEDNESDAY, JULY 29, 2015 

Mrs. CAPPS. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor my constituent, a member of our greatest generation from Santa Maria, California, James T. Murphy . On Sunday, July 19th, 2015, at the age of 94, Mr. Murphy had the historic honor of being offered the first Japanese corporate apology for his forced labor as an American prisoner of war (POW) in Japan during World War II. 

During World War II, Mitsubishi Mining Company Ltd. used the labor of over 900 Americans in four of its coal and copper mines on mainland Japan. Mr. Murphy, one of the last surviving American former POWs to have worked as a slave laborer in one of these mines, graciously accepted an apology from the Mitsubishi Materials Corporation, the successor of Mitsubishi Mining Company, on behalf of his fellow veterans. 

A Texas native, Mr. Murphy fought in the Philippines with the U.S. Army Air Corps beginning with the bombing of Nichols Field on December 8, 1941 until surrender in Bataan on April 9, 1942. He endured the Bataan Death March and a "Hell ship'' to Japan. During the war, Imperial Japan assigned over 13,000 Americans to work in corporate mines, factories, and docks to support the war effort. Mr. Murphy was assigned to POW Camp Sendai #6-B and forced to mine copper at Mitsubishi's Osarizawa mine near the town of Hanawa in Sendai, Japan. 

After liberation, he continued to serve with the then-new U.S. Air Force and retired in 1962 after a 23-year career. Captain Murphy later moved to my district in California, working as a civilian contractor with Lockheed Missile & Space Company at Vandenberg Air Force Base and finally retiring in 1986 to Santa Maria. 

On July 19th 2015 Mr. Hikaru Kimura, a Senior Corporate Executive of Mitsubishi Materials Corporation and Senior General Manager of Global Business Management at the Paint Finishing System Division of Taikisha Ltd, delivered to him the official apology at a ceremony held at the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles. 

Mr. Murphy responded, ``it is a glorious day.'' He continued, ``For 70 years, we wanted such action. Today we have it so I'm elated over that, and I hope this historical occasion just spreads out through the world and helps mankind.'' 

And it is with grateful recognition for all our veterans swept up in the Pacific battles of the first months of World War II, many of whom became POWs of Imperial Japan, that I insert both Mitsubishi Materials' historic apology statement and Captain Murphy's acceptance. 

Remembering the stories of these POWs both in Japan and in the United States is important for history, for the U.S.-Japan relationship, and for all those who care about peace.

STATEMENT OF JAMES T. MURPHY , In RESPONSE TO MITSUBISHI APOLOGY TO WWII POWS, Delivered at the Museum of Tolerance, Simon Wiesenthal Center--Los Angeles, CA, July 19, 2015 

This is a great day to be here at the Museum of Tolerance because at this place and at this time, history will truly be made. 

We have just heard Mitsubishi's [Materials Corporation] representative, Mr. [Hikaru] Kimura, present a stirring, heartfelt, warm and sincere apology to former U.S. Prisoners of War who were forced to work for Mitsubishi Mining during World War II. 

His apology meets all the criteria necessary to satisfy the elements of an acceptable apology. It admits to wrongdoing, it makes sincere statements showing a deep remorse for the wrongdoing and it assures that the wrongdoing will not recur. 

As a former Prisoner of War of the Japanese Imperial Armed Forces who was forced to work at the Mitsubishi [Osarizawa] copper mine near Hanawa, Japan during part of 1944 and part of 1945 and being one of the few surviving workers of that time, I find it to be my duty and responsibility to accept Mr. Kimura's apology! 

Hopefully, the acceptance of this sincere apology will bring some closure and relief to the age-old problems confronting the surviving former Prisoners of War and to their family members. 

Additionally, even though the Japanese people and the American people have a long-standing friendly relationship, the action that we are taking today will further enhance, expand and assure an enduring trust and friendship benefitting both nations. 

Furthermore, I join others in this group who foster the idea of encouraging the dozens of other Japanese companies who used forced labor by the Allied Prisoners of War to offset their workforce shortage to follow Mitsubishi Materials' progressive leadership. 

Solving this long overdue problem would permit the companies and their former laborers to look forward to a better future rather than continue to look backward to their differences. 

Such actions would have positive results for both of our nations by strengthening our trust, confidence and friendship. Perhaps other nations with similar problems will follow our example here today with similar actions. 

Such actions would result in the betterment to all mankind. 

Mr. Kimura, we thank you and the other members of your team for your hard work and long hours spent formulating and presenting Mitsubishi Materials' apology. 

Statement by Mitsubishi Materials Corporation, Senior Executive Officer Hikaru Kimura in the Meeting With a Former American POW and Families of Former POWs 

Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen, speaking on behalf of Mitsubishi Materials, thank you very much for this opportunity to meet with you today at the Museum of Tolerance. 

Mitsubishi Mining Company Limited, the predecessor of Mitsubishi Materials, was engaged in coal and metal mining during World War II. As the war intensified, prisoners of war were placed in a wide range of industries to offset labor shortages. As part of this, close to 900 American POWs were allocated to four mines operated by Mitsubishi Mining in Japan. 

I joined Mitsubishi Materials as a postwar baby-boomer and have worked in the company for 34 years. I have read the memoirs of Mr. James Murphy , who is present here at this ceremony, and those of other former POWs, as well as records of court trials. Through these accounts, I have learned about the terrible pain that POWs experienced in the mines of Mitsubishi Mining. 

The POWs, many of whom were suffering from disease and injury, were subjected to hard labor, including during freezing winters, working without sufficient food, water, medical treatment or sanitation. When we think of their harsh lives in the mines, we cannot help feeling deep remorse. 

I would like to express our deepest sense of ethical responsibility for the tragic experiences of all U.S. POWs, including Mr. James Murphy, who were forced to work under harsh conditions in the mines of the former Mitsubishi Mining. 

On behalf of Mitsubishi Materials. I offer our sincerest apology. 

I also extend our deepest condolence to their fellow U.S. POWs who worked alongside them but have since passed away. 

To the bereaved families who are present at this ceremony, I also offer our most remorseful apology. 

This cannot happen again, and of course, Mitsubishi Materials intends to never let this happen again. 

We now have a clear corporate mission of working for the benefit of all people, all societies and indeed the entire globe. Respecting the basic human rights of all people is a core principle of Mitsubishi Materials, and we will continue to strongly adhere to this principle. Our management team wishes for the health and happiness of our employees every day, and we ask that all of them work not only diligently, but also with a sense of ethics. 

Mitsubishi Materials supplies general materials that enrich people's lives, from cement to cellphone components and auto parts, all of which are closely related to people's lives. We also place a strong emphasis on recycling for more sustainable societies, such as recovering valuable metals from used electrical appliances and other scrapped materials. 

Here in the United States, we have plants for cement and ready-mixed concrete, and a sales headquarters for our advanced materials and tools business, all in California, as well as a polysilicon plant in Alabama. 

We believe that our company provides fulfilling jobs for local employees and contributes to host communities through its business. 

The American Defenders of Bataan & Corregidor Museum in Wellsburg, West Virginia archives extensive records and memorabilia of POWs. These records and memorabilia will be handed down to future generations for educational purposes. 

I will visit the museum the day after tomorrow to view the exhibits and visualize how POWs were forced to work under harsh conditions. For now, however, I am pleased to announce that Mitsubishi Materials has donated 50,000 US dollars to the museum to support its activities. 

Finally, I sincerely thank Ms. Kinue Tokudome and the members of the American Defenders of Bataan & Corregidor Memorial Society for creating this opportunity to meet with you today. 

I also express my sincere thanks to Rabbi Abraham Cooper for offering the Museum of Tolerance as a venue for the ceremony. And I express my deep gratitude to all others involved in arranging this gathering. 

I would also like to thank the family members of a non-U.S. POW [Mr. Stanley Gibson from Scotland, whose father also was a slave laborer in the Mitsubishi Osarizawa mine] who have come from very far away to attend this ceremony. 

I truly hope that this gathering marks the starting point of a new relationship between former POWs and Mitsubishi Materials. Thank you very much.

Monday in Washington, August 3, 2015

House of Representatives on recess until September 8
Senate still in session, in recess at the end of the week

ARE THERE STRUCTURAL ISSUES IN US BOND MARKETS? 8/3, 9:00am-Noon. Sponsor: Brookings Institution. Speakers: Jerome Powell, Federal Reserve Governor; Antonio Weiss, Counselor to the Treasury Secretary; Douglas Elliott, Fellow in Economic Studies at Brookings.

IRAN DEAL VERIFICATION PROBLEMS. 8/3, 10:30am. Sponsor: National Press Club Newsmaker Program. Speakers: Olli Heinonen, Senior Fellow in International Affairs, Harvard University; Kirk Lippold, former Commander of the USS Cole; Alireza Jafarzadeh, Deputy Director of the US Office of the National Council of Resistance of Iran.

CYBER-ENABLED ECONOMIC WARFARE: AN EVOLVING CHALLENGE. 8/3, 11:30am-2:00pm. Sponsor: Hudson Institute. Speakers: Former Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich; Steven Chabinsky, General Counsel and Chief Risk Officer at CrowdStrike; Michael Hsieh, Program Manager at Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency; Mark Dubowitz, Executive Director of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies; Mark Tucker, CEO of Temporal Defense Systems; Samantha Ravich, Board of Advisers Member at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies; Juan Zarate, Senior Counsel in the Center on Sanctions and Illicit Finance at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

ASSESSING US NATURAL GAS EXPORTS. 8/3, Noon-1:30pm. Sponsor: United States Energy Association (USEA). Speaker: Tim Boersma, Fellow and Acting Director of the Energy Security and Climate Initiative at Brookings.

THE INTERNATIONAL CONSULTATION PROCESS ON THE NEW SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOAL INDICATORS. 8/3, Noon-1:00pm. Sponsor: Society for International Development (SIDW). Speaker: Cynthia Clapp-Wincek, former Director of the Office of Learning, Evaluation and Research at USAID.

Emperor Hirohito's speech to end the fighting


Why Japan's 1945 surrender speech is almost incomprehensible

On Saturday, the Imperial Household Agency released a digital version of the original 1945 Hirohito speech announcing Japan's surrender.

By Mari Yamaguchi, reprinted from Associated Press August1, 2015

TOKYO — The 4 ½-minute speech that has reverberated throughout Japan's modern history since it was delivered by Emperor Hirohito at the end of World War II has come back to life in digital form.

Hirohito's "jewel voice" — muffled and nearly inaudible due to poor sound quality — was broadcast on Aug. 15, 1945, announcing Japan's surrender.

On Saturday, the Imperial Household Agency released the digital version of the original sound ahead of the 70th anniversary of the speech and the war's end. In it, the emperor's voice appears clearer, slightly higher and more intense, but, Japanese today would still have trouble understanding the arcane language used by Hirohito.  [See below for text in English]

"The language was extremely difficult," said Tomie Kondo, 92, who listened to the 1945 broadcast in a monitoring room at public broadcaster NHK, where she worked as a newscaster. "It's well written if you read it, but I'm afraid not many people understood what he said."

click to order
"Poor reception and sound quality of the radio made it even worse," she said. "I heard some people even thought they were supposed to fight even more. I think the speech would be incomprehensible to young people today."

Every Japanese knows a part of the speech where Hirohito refers to his resolve for peace by "enduring the unendurable and suffering what is insufferable," a phrase repeatedly used in news and dramas about the war.

When people heard that part 70 years ago, they understood the situation, Kondo says. But the rest is little known, largely because the text Hirohito read was deliberately written in arcane language making him sound authoritative and convincing as he sought people's understanding about Japan's surrender.

Amid growing concern among many Japanese over nationalist Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's push to expand Japan's military role, the current Emperor Akihito is increasingly seen as liberal and pacifist, and the effort by his father, Hirohito, to end the war has captured national attention.

Speaking in unique intonation that drops at the end of sentences, Hirohito opens his 1945 address with Japan's decision to accept the condition of surrender. He also expresses "the deepest sense of regret" to Asian countries that cooperated with Japan to gain "emancipation" from Western colonization.

Hirohito also laments devastation caused by "a new and most cruel bomb" dropped in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and asks everyone to stay calm while helping to reconstruct the country.

Its significance is that Hirohito, who at the time was considered a living deity, made the address, said Takahisa Furukawa, a historian at Nihon University in Tokyo.

"What's most important is the emperor reached out to the people to tell them that they had to surrender and end the war," he said. "The speech is a reminder of what it took to end the wrong war."

On the eve of the announcement, Hirohito met with top government officials to approve Japan's surrender inside a bunker dug at the palace compound.

Amid fear of violent protest by army officials refusing to end the war, the recording of Hirohito's announcement was made secretly. NHK technicians were quietly called in for the recording. At almost midnight, Hirohito appeared in his formal military uniform, and read the statement into the microphone, twice.

A group of young army officers stormed into the palace in a failed attempt to steal the records and block the surrender speech, but palace officials desperately protected the records, which were safely delivered to NHK for radio transmission the next day.

The drama of the last two days of the war leading to Hirohito's radio address was made into a film, "Japan's Longest Day," in 1967, and its remake will hit Japanese theaters on Aug. 8.


Imperial Surrender Broadcast
by Emperor Hirohito of Japan 

At noon on August 15, 1945, the Emperor of Japan delivered the following over the radio. Not only did this speech signify the end of World War II, but it meant the end of the Emperor’s status as a deity. This was the first time in history the people of Japan had ever heard their Emperor’s voice. Japanese text here.

To our good and loyal subjects: After pondering deeply on the general trend of the world and the actual conditions pertaining to our Empire today, we have decided to effect a settlement of the present situation by resorting to an extraordinary measure. We have ordered our government to inform the government of the United States, Britain, China, and the Soviet Union that our Empire accepts the provisions of their joint declaration (the Potsdam declaration).

To strive for the common prosperity and happiness of all nations, as well as for the security and well-being of our subjects, is the solemn obligation which has been handed down by out Imperial ancestors and which lies close to our heart. Indeed, we declared war on America and Britain out of our sincere desire to ensure Japan’s self-preservation and the stabilization of East Asia, it being far from our thought either to infringe upon the sovereignty of other nations or to embark upon territorial aggrandizement. But now the war has lasted for nearly four years. Although the best has been done by everyone—the gallant fighting of the military and naval forces, the diligence and assiduity of our servants of the state, and the devoted service of our hundred million people—the war situation has developed not necessarily to Japan’s advantage, while the general trends of the world have all turned against her interests.

The enemy, moreover, has begun to employ a new most cruel bomb, the power which to do damage is indeed incalculable, taking toll of many innocent lives. Should we continue to fight, it would only result in the ultimate collapse and obliteration of the Japanese nation . . . but would lead also to the total extinction of human civilization. Such being the case, how are we to save millions of our subjects, or ourselves, to atone before the hallowed spirits of our Imperial ancestors? This is the reason we have ordered the acceptance of the provisions of the joint declaration of the Powers.

We cannot but express the deepest sense of regret to our allied nations of East Asia, who have consistently cooperated with the Empire toward the emancipation of East Asia. The thought of those officers and men who have fallen on the field of battle, of those who have died at their posts of duty, or those who have met with untimely death, and of their bereaved families, pains our heart night and day. The welfare of the wounded and war victims and of those who have lost their homes and livelihood are objects of our profound solicitude. The hardships and sufferings to which our nation is to be subjected hereafter will certainly be great.

We are keenly aware of the inmost feelings of all our subjects. However, it is according to the dictates of time and fate that we come by enduring the unendurable and suffering what is insufferable. Having been able to save and maintain the structure of the Imperial State, we are always with you, our good and loyal subjects, relying upon your sincerity and integrity. Beware most strictly least any out burst of emotion, which may engender needless complications, or any fraternal contention and strife, which may create confusion, lead you astray and cause you to lose confidence of the world. 

Let the entire nation continue as one family from generation to generation, ever firm in its faith in the imperishability of its divine land, and mindful of its heavy burden of responsibilities and the long road before it. Devote your united strength to construction for the future. Cultivate ways of rectitude, further nobility of spirit, and work with resolution, so that you may enhance the innate glory of the Imperial State and keep pace with the progress of the world.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Monday in Washington, July 27, 2015

9:00am - Undersecretary of State for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights Sarah Sewall briefing for the release of the 2015 Trafficking in Persons Report

10:00am - Secretary of State John Kerry hosts a launch ceremony to release and discuss the 2015 Trafficking in Persons Report, which assesses government efforts around the world to combat modern slavery.

11:15am - Korean War Veterans Association events for the International Korean War Armistice ceremony to include South Korean Ambassador to the United States Ahn Ho-young remarks and the ringing of the Freedom Bell to honor the end of the Korean War at the Korean War Veterans Memorial, National Mall, 10 Daniel French Drive SW, Washington, DC.

EUROPE AT SEA: MEDITERRANEAN AND BALTIC SECURITY CHALLENGES. 7/27, 9:00-10:30am. Sponsor: Hudson Institute. Speakers: Retired British Royal Navy Rear Adm. Chris Parry and Seth Cropsey, director of the Center for American Seapower at Hudson.

click to order
RUSSIAN MILITARY FORUM: THE INTERMEDIATE NUCLEAR FORCES (INF) TREATY AT A CROSSROADS. 7/27, 10:00-11:30am. Sponsor: CSIS, Russia and Eurasia Program. Speakers: Steven Pifer, Director, Arms Control and Non-Proliferation Initiative, Brookings; Amy Woolf, Specialist, Nuclear Weapons Policy, Congressional Research Service; Paul Schwartz, Senior Associate, Russia and Eurasia Program, CSIS.

KAZAKHSTAN'S ACCESSION TO THE WTO. 7/27, 2:00-3:30pm. Sponsor: CSIS. Speakers: Ambassador William H. Courtney, President, U.S.-Kazakhstan Business Association; Former U.S. Ambassador to Kazakhstan; Cecilia Leahy Klein, Senior Director for WTO Accessions, Office of the United States Trade Representative; Aitolkyn Kourmanova, Visiting Fellow, Russia and Eurasia Program, CSIS; Michael Lally, Executive Deputy Assistant Secretary for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, Global Markets, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce.


UNDERSTANDING ISIS AND THE NEW GLOBAL WAR ON TERROR: A PRIMER. 7/27, 6:30 pm. Sponsor: Busboys & Poets. Speaker: Author Phyllis Bennis, director of the New Internationalism Project at The Institute for Policy Studies (IPS).

Japanese deniers distort the Comfort Women narrative they support

Comfort Women at US Congress
Rightists distort author Park Yu-ha’s views on ‘comfort women’

BY Jeff Kingston, director of Asian Studies, Temple University Japan.

SPECIAL TO THE JAPAN TIMES, JULY 25, 2015

Park Yu-ha, an academic at Sejong University in Seoul, is the darling of the Japanese right because of her alleged stance on the “comfort women” system. But their cherry-picking of her writings distorts her views and twists them into support for the revisionists’ vindicating and exonerating narrative.

Park presents a nuanced analysis of the comfort women system, one that challenges the prevailing consensus in South Korea, but she is also quite critical of the role Japan played.

Regarding the controversial issue of whether women were recruited through coercion, Park notes in an essay she sent to me that there is no evidence that this was official policy, but maintains that there was “structural coercion” due to colonial subjugation.

Via an additional email exchange in Korean, she adds that she wants Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to deliver an apology to the comfort women in his Aug. 15 speech on the 70th anniversary of Japan’s defeat in World War II and Korea’s liberation. She is pessimistic that he will do so, however, and says this is partly Seoul’s fault.

Park agrees that Japanese reactionaries are invoking her name unscrupulously in conveying partial truths. For example, a recent article in The Japan Times suggested she believes that Japanese colonialism in Korea was moderate, but she says this is a misleading reading of her book “Teikoku no Ianfu” (“Comfort Women of the Empire”).

“If ‘moderate’ is used to imply colonization was not bad, I disagree,” she says, noting that during the colonial era “those who opposed Japan’s modern system and national policies — including the emperor system — were tortured and jailed.”

The history of the comfort women issue has become intensely politicized in South Korea, making it difficult for scholars to publish objective analysis that doesn’t conform to the master narrative of victimization. Park had her book pulled from the shelves by court order and was required to redact passages deemed unacceptable. Public discourse in South Korea elides the role of Korean collaborators who served as recruiters and focuses exclusively on Japanese responsibility. Park is vilified in South Korea as an apologist for Japan, even though she argues that the system was cruel and inhumane and has refused to exonerate Japan.

“Japan is not exempt from its responsibility for the comfort women, who were taken to ‘comfort stations’ against their will and experienced pain,” she noted in an interview with the Asahi Shimbun earlier this year.

In the unpublished essay we received (written in English), Park says there was no monolithic system and distinguishes between what she calls “comfort women” — meaning only Koreans and Japanese — and other Asian “women who were provided on battlefields and were forced to work in the form of semi-constant rape” and victims of one-time rape on the battlefields” that she says should not be referred to as comfort women.

“The foremost premise in discussing the comfort women issue,” she adds, “is to recognize that women made to engage in sex work were always the socially weak, that most of them were susceptible to disease and that they found themselves in a miserable plight in which they faced a constant risk of death.”

Park asserts that most Korean comfort women were from the lower classes and were not recruited under Japan’s school-level national mobilization program, known as teishintai, a point that has caused some confusion. The fact that they have insisted they were recruited through this program has been cited by Japanese revisionists to accuse them of lying and dismiss the comfort women’s testimony entirely. Park disagrees and says there are good reasons for this misunderstanding, stressing she doesn’t believe the comfort women were lying.

Koreans, she says, believed they were forcibly recruited because “recruiters in military uniforms (who acted as civilian employees of the military) deceived them into becoming comfort women by telling them that they were being taken to serve in the teishintai (forcibly, albeit as part of the national mobilization facilitated by the creation of laws, but ‘voluntary’ in form).”

Thus, she concludes that “women with such experiences perceived them as forcible recruitment. In other words, rather than former comfort women telling lies, it is highly likely that recruiters … had lied.”

And for Japanese deniers, she inconveniently points out that “it appears that recruiters were often pairs of Japanese and Korean men.”

Overall, Park blames these recruiters most for the misery endured by the women they treated like sex slaves, but she does not absolve the Japanese military.

“Some Korean comfort women, while traveling with troops on the front lines, underwent the inhumane experiences of being subjected to the insatiable carnal appetite of Japanese soldiers in the line of fire on battlefields and falling victim to gunfire and shelling,” she writes in the essay.

Based on Korean comfort women’s testimony, Park believes that recruitment was largely based on deception rather than coercion, but she believes the consequences for all these women were horrific; none were free to leave once recruited and all were subject to military discipline. The comfort stations were closely monitored by the Japanese military and the comfort women “had no freedom of movement, no freedom to get out of the business and no freedom even to defend their lives.”

In contrast, she writes that “for Dutch and Chinese women, the military was directly involved in the grouping and segregation of them for sexual labor, and the military’s actions literally represented forcible recruitment (for) the purpose of continuous rape of enemy women who were conquered.”

Park also takes issue with recent efforts by politicians in the Liberal Democratic Party to discredit the 1993 Kono statement, which acknowledges Japan’s responsibility for the comfort women system.

“The Kono statement noted that the process of being transferred was against their will and that sexual labor at comfort stations was not of their own choice, thus acknowledging the nature of structural coercion,” she writes. Thus, it “accurately acknowledged that the existence of Korean comfort women was the result of Japan’s colonial occupation, since the ‘involvement of the military authorities of the day’ in the establishment and management of comfort stations is a fact.” Therefore, she concludes, “there should be no need to review the Kono statement.”

In Park’s view, the Diet should go further and adopt a resolution of apology, but in the context of “Abenesia” and the self-righteous nationalism prevailing in the LDP today, such a mea culpa is unthinkable.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Japan's first public corporate apology to its slave laborers


Former POW of Japan James Murphy who was a slave laborer in Mitsubishi Material's (MMC) Osarizawa Copper Mine in Sendai is sitting before this group of bowing MMC officials who had just delivered to him the company's apology for the inhumane treatment he received during World War II.

Among the officials bowing was MMC board member and fluent English-speaker Yukio Okamoto, a well-known Japanese foreign policy consultant. He has been involved behind the scenes in a number of important Japanese apology initiatives. These include the Kono Statement, the Asian Women's Fund, the 1995 Okinawa Rape incident, and Koizumi's 2005 War Anniversary statement. He is on the current prime minister's committee to help draft a statement to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II.

The apology was delivered in Japanese. Although the formal apology word shazai was not used and the POWs were described as being "forced to work" as opposed to "forced" or "slave" labor, the apology was accepted and appreciated. As Mr. Murphy said, "it was a glorious day."

Mitsubishi Material's ambiguous apology, constrained by an impenitent political climate, will be strengthened over time by the truth. The apology is a beginning and an opening. It will allow the POW history to be told and believed. The telling of this history will make it clear that it was Mitsubishi that purchased the men, that forced them to work in horrific conditions, and that allowed them to be beaten and maimed for the war effort. Mitsubishi was not merely a collaborator.

Here is the statement released in Los Angeles, California at the Museum of Tolerance by Mitsubishi Materials Corporation on July 19, 2015. We will post the Japanese as soon as we can obtain it.

Statement by Mitsubishi Materials Corporation 
Senior Executive Officer Hikaru Kimura in the Meeting With 
a Former American POW and Families of Former POWs

Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen, speaking on behalf of Mitsubishi Materials, thank you very much for this opportunity to meet with you today at the Museum of Tolerance.

Mitsubishi Mining Company Limited, the predecessor of Mitsubishi Materials, was engaged in coal and metal mining during World War II. As the war intensified, prisoners of war were placed in a wide range of industries to offset labor shortages. As part of this, close to 900 American POWs were allocated to four mines operated by Mitsubishi Mining in Japan.

I joined Mitsubishi Materials as a postwar baby-boomer and have worked in the company for 34 years. I have read the memoirs of Mr. James Murphy, who is present here at this ceremony, and those of other former POWs, as well as records of court trials. Through these accounts, I have learned about the terrible pain that POWs experienced in the mines of Mitsubishi Mining.

The POWs, many of whom were suffering from disease and injury, were subjected to hard labor, including during freezing winters, working without sufficient food, water, medical treatment or sanitation. When we think of their harsh lives in the mines, we cannot help feeling deep remorse.

I would like to express our deepest sense of ethical responsibility for the tragic experiences of all U.S. POWs, including Mr. James Murphy, who were forced to work under harsh conditions in the mines of the former Mitsubishi Mining.

On behalf of Mitsubishi Materials, I offer our sincerest apology.

I also extend our deepest condolence to their fellow U.S. POWs who worked alongside them but have since passed away.

To the bereaved families who are present at this ceremony, I also offer our most remorseful apology.

This cannot happen again, and of course, Mitsubishi Materials intends to never let this happen again.

We now have a clear corporate mission of working for the benefit of all people, all societies and indeed the entire globe. Respecting the basic human rights of all people is a core principle of Mitsubishi Materials, and we will continue to strongly adhere to this principle.

Our management team wishes for the health and happiness of our employees every day, and we ask that all of them work not only diligently, but also with a sense of ethics.
Mitsubishi Materials supplies general materials that enrich people’s lives, from cement to cellphone components and auto parts, all of which are closely related to people’s lives. We also place a strong emphasis on recycling for more sustainable societies, such as recovering valuable metals from used electrical appliances and other scrapped materials.

Here in the United States, we have plants for cement and ready-mixed concrete, and a sales headquarters for our advanced materials and tools business, all in California, as well as a polysilicon plant in Alabama. We believe that our company provides fulfilling jobs for local employees and contributes to host communities through its business.

The American Defenders of Bataan & Corregidor Museum in Wellsburg, West Virginia archives extensive records and memorabilia of POWs. These records and memorabilia will be handed down to future generations for educational purposes.

I will visit the museum the day after tomorrow to view the exhibits and visualize how POWs were forced to work under harsh conditions. For now, however, I am pleased to announce that Mitsubishi Materials has donated 50,000US dollars to the museum to support its activities.

Finally, I sincerely thank Ms. Kinue Tokudome and the members of the American Defenders of Bataan & Corregidor Memorial Society for creating this opportunity to meet with you today. I also express my sincere thanks to Rabbi Abraham Cooper for offering the Museum of Tolerance as a venue for the ceremony. And I express my deep gratitude to all others involved in arranging this gathering.

I would also like to thank the family members of a non-U.S. POW who have come from very far away to attend this ceremony.

I truly hope that this gathering marks the starting point of a new relationship between former POWs and Mitsubishi Materials.
Thank you very much.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Monday in Washington, July 20, 2015

RALLY AND MARCH TO THE WHITE HOUSE: VICTIMS OF HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES TESTIFY ON CRIMES AGAINST THE FILIPINO PEOPLE BY AQUINO III. 7/20, 9:30am-1:00pm. Sponsor: The International People’s Tribunal.

THE NEW SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS (SDG) FRAMEWORK: SECURING THE FUTURE THJROUGH INCLUSIVE ECONOMIC GROWTH. 7/20, 2:00pm, Washington, DC. Sponsor: Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE). Speakers: Trevor Davies, Global Head of International Development Assistance at KPMG; Christopher Jurgens, Chief of USAID’s Global Partnerships Division; Louise Kantrow, Permanent Representative to the UN at the International Chamber of Commerce; Kamran Khan, Vice President of the Department of Compact Operations at the Millennium Change Corporation; Sarah Thorn, Senior Director of International Reade at Walmart; John Sullivan, Executive Director of CIPE. 

GLOBAL DIGITAL POLICY: VIEWS FROM THE UNITED STATES AND SOUTH KOREA. 7/20, 3:00pm. Sponsor: CEAPS, Brookings Institution. Speakers: Ambassador Ahn Ho-Young, Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to the United States; Ambassador Daniel Sepulveda, Deputy Assistant Secretary and U.S. Coordinator, International Communications and Information Policy, Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs, U.S. Department of State; Min Wonki, Assistant Minister, ICT and Future Planning, Ministry of Science, Republic of Korea; Chairman, 2014 International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Plenipotentiary Conference; Moderator: Darrell West, Douglas Dillon Chair; Vice President and Director, Governance Studies; Founding Director, Center for Technology Innovation, Brookings.

GLOBAL DEVELOPMENT AND THE 2016 ELECTION. 7/20, 3:00-5:00pm. Sponsor: Center for Global Development. Speakers: Nancy Birdsall, President, Center for Global Development; Michael Elliott, President and CEO, ONE Campaign; Steve Hadley, former National Security Advisor, President George W. Bush, 2005–2009; Tom Nides, Vice Chairman, Morgan Stanley, Deputy Secretary of State, 2011–2013.