Contributor and former Camp 17 POW "Goldy"
Goldbrum wrote the following article
which should be of interest to many regarding the "lack of" compensation for
Japanese POW's during WWII
Japanese POWs Uncompensated
I am happy to read in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel that the former Holocaust survivor slaves used by the Nazis are receiving their just payments from their former captors.
At the same time, these articles and TV showings open a wound that has been festering in my mind for almost 60 years. As a former slave of the Japanese in World War II, I was forced to work in a coal mine in Japan for over two years. I started as a healthy 22-year-old and came out as a starved, injured 24-year-old. Mitsui Mining Industries amassed millions from the sweat and blood of me and many thousands of other American POWs. To this day, we have not received an apology from the Japanese nor any compensation.
Former POWs from Canada, Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand and other countries have received compensation from their respective governments' treasuries because they were thought deserving of compensation for being sent in harm's way to fight for freedom.
In contrast, the United States government, instead of being our advocate, helping us to receive compensation from the Japanese companies, are our adversaries. Whenever we try our case in courts, our government sends State Department lawyers to fight us. Their justification is that in the peace treaty with Japan, they unilaterally signed away our rights to sue the Japanese government for slave labor compensation.
But we POWs are not suing the Japanese government. We are suing private industries like Mitsui Industries and others who contracted with the Japanese government to ship many thousands of Americans to Japan to work as slaves. How they treated us is another story.
When will we receive justice?