The Japanese giant Mitsubishi Materials Corp has officially issued an apology for their use of US prisoners of war as slave labor during the second world war.

The apology comes almost 70 years after the end of the war. The Japanese government and private companies used 12,000 people for forced labor during the war. Out of those workers, there were 1,100 casualties. Although the government has extended apologies to victims throughout the years, private companies are just now acknowledging their transgressions.

According to Asia Policy Point, the Mitsubishi conglomerate had six camps, in which 2,041 prisoners were held. Out of those, 1,000 were American.

Hikaru Kimura, senior executive officer of Mitsubishi Materials Corp, said in a public apology at the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles, “Today we apologize remorsefully for the tragic events in our past.”

A lawsuit is currently being filed by the descendants of thousands of Chinese men who were also forced to work for Mitsubishi Corp. Kimura declined to comment on the lawsuit.

Cover image: Wikimedia Commons