Beijing: Mitsubishi Materials plans to apologise and pay a hefty compensation of over USD 16,000 to over 3,700 Chinese victims of forced labour during the WWII, becoming the first Japanese company to express regret over exploitation of such workers.
3,765 Chinese who were forced into hard labour in the company's wartime mines will be eligible for compensation of 100,000 yuan (USD 16,100).
Tong Zeng, the head of the group, said that an official statement aimed at demanding compensation from Japan will be published before August 15, the day marking Japan's surrender to the Allies in 1945.
It will be the first time that a Japanese company has apologised to Chinese victims during WWII, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
In the statement, Mitsubishi Materials said about 39,000 Chinese labourers were forced to Japan due to a decision by the Japanese government.
Mitsubishi Mining Co, the firm's predecessor, had 3,765 Chinese workers working in poor conditions.
A total of 722 Chinese workers died. Mitsubishi Materials said it recognised that the human rights of Chinese forced labours were infringed upon, and expressed deep reflection over it.
Mitsubishi Materials will extend its sincere apologies to those Chinese workers and their relatives, and recognise the company's historic responsibility on this issue, the statement said.
The company said that it will establish a monument to commemorate the history.
Tong said Mitsubishi's apology should be given positive comments, saying that he hoped other Japanese companies can follow suit.
On Sunday, Mitsubishi Materials apologised for wartime enslavement of some 900 US POWs at mines run by Mitsubishi Mining Co at a special ceremony in Los Angeles, the report said.