Mitsubishi Materials in deal with WW2 forced labourers

Ma Wenyi,holds a photo of his father who was forced to work during World War II at a mine for Mitsubishi Mining Corp Image copyright AP
Image caption Ma Wenyi holds a photo of his father who was forced to work during World War Two at a mine for Mitsubishi Mining Corp

Japan's Mitsubishi Materials has agreed a deal with Chinese groups seeking compensation for workers who were used as forced labourers in World War Two.

The settlement covers some 3,700 victims who will receive 100,000 yuan ($15,000, £10,400) each and an apology.

At a signing ceremony in Beijing, the company expressed its "sincere apologies" to the workers.

About 40,000 Chinese were brought to Japan in the early 1940s to make up for a domestic labour shortage.

Those now eligible for compensation were forced to work at 10 coal mines operated by the company, then known as Mitsubishi Mining Corp.

The settlement comes two years after Chinese citizens seeking compensation from Japanese firms filed a case in a Chinese court.

Since then, at least two other Japanese construction firms have agreed to compensate victims.

Last year, Mitsubishi apologised for using US prisoners of war as forced labour during World War Two.

Spokeswoman Hua Chunying said the Chinese government was aware of the move.

"The forced recruitment of slave labour was a great crime committed by Japan," she said. "We hope that Japan will take a responsible attitude toward history."

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