WASHINGTON, April 30, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Disabled American Veterans (DAV) was honored to stand with five former World War II prisoners of war who survived the 1942 Bataan Death March or the siege of Corregidor to call for apologies from Japanese companies that abused these POWs as slave laborers.
The DAV has joined these heroes in asking Japanese companies that used American POW slave labor, which include Mitsui, Hitachi, Mitsubishi, Sumitomo and Kawasaki, to follow the example of their government and apologize to the American POWs and establish a meaningful program of remembrance.
An estimated 27,000 American troops were prisoners of Japan during the war. Some 40 percent died in captivity. The majority of those Americans were forced to work on military projects or for private Japanese companies producing war materiel. No Japanese company has acknowledged or apologized for the use of POW forced labor.
"These American heroes are not seeking compensation," said DAV Washington Headquarters Executive Director Barry Jesinoski. "They just want their due respect, an apology and the preservation of their history."
In 2010, Japan issued an official apology for the abuse and misuse of the Americans they held prisoner in World War II. This week Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda is visiting Washington.
The DAV co-hosted a luncheon for the former POWs with contemporary wounded troops in Washington, D.C., to mark the 70th anniversary of the defense of the Philippines.
The 1.2 million-member Disabled American Veterans, a non-profit organization founded in 1920 and chartered by the U.S. Congress in 1932, represents this nation's disabled veterans. It is dedicated to a single purpose: building better lives for our nation's disabled veterans and their families. More information is available at www.dav.org.
SOURCE Disabled American Veterans