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70 years on, Japanese firm to apologize to US WWII veterans

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- A major Japanese corporation will offer a landmark apology this weekend for using U.S. prisoners of war for forced labor during World War II, according to the Simon Wiesenthal Center that is hosting the event.

A senior executive of Mitsubishi Materials Corp. will apologize to 94-year-old James Murphy, of Santa Maria, California, and relatives of other former POWs who toiled at plants its predecessor company operated in Japan during the conflict.

Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean at the center — an organization that primarily educates about the Holocaust — called it an important gesture, coming as it does ahead of the 70th anniversary in August of the end of the war that has heightened scrutiny of Japan's attitude to its past abuses.

"As far as I know, this is a piece of history," said Cooper, who is helping moderate the closed-door meeting Sunday at the center's Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles. "It's the first time a major Japanese company has ever made such a gesture. We hope this will spur other companies to join in and do the same."

http://news.yahoo.com/70-years-japanese-firm-apologize-111420777.html


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