東京新聞 旧麻生鉱業に捕虜300人 PDF (369KB

読売新聞 麻生首相の親族企業で戦時中、外国人捕虜が労働公文書で判明






朝日新聞 「旧麻生鉱業に外国人捕虜300人 厚労省公文書に記録」






中央日報(韓国) 「旧麻生鉱業で外国人捕虜300人が労働」 http://japanese.joins.com/article/article.php?aid=108981&servcode=A00&sectco








タイムズ紙(英国) PoWs used by Japanese Prime Minister's family business



Taro Aso's short tenure as Prime Minister has been marred by controversy and plunging public approval ratings


Bundles of documents stored in a basement and left to gather dust since the 1950s have forced Japan to acknowledge for the first time the use of slaves in wartime by Aso Mining — the family business of the Prime Minister.

Health Ministry records that were released yesterday after a long struggle between opposition MPs and the civil service appear to confirm that the company used hundreds of British and Australian prisoners of war as slave labourers to dig coal in its mines.

Worse still, said Yukihisa Fujita, the MP chiefly responsible for tracking down the papers, the stash of other records still in the Health Ministry may implicate dozens of other Japanese companies in similar schemes.

Japan has owned up previously to the use of Korean slave labour during the war but the documents forced the Government of Taro Aso to admit for the first time that European prisoners toiled in Japanese mines under similar conditions, Mr Fujita told The Times.

Hirofumi Nakasone, the Foreign Minister, said that he would consider a wider investigation into slave labour.

The discovery of the papers — and their dramatic appearance in the hands of Mr Fujita at a parliamentary committee meeting yesterday afternoon — could provide yet more political ammunition for the many opponents of Mr Aso, whose short tenure as Prime Minister has been marred by controversy and plunging public approval ratings.

Mr Aso, who has confronted popularity levels that have felled previous Japanese prime ministers, is now fighting not only for his own leadership survival but for the life of the Liberal Democratic Party, the political monolith that has governed Japan in a nearly unbroken 54-year run of power.

The corridors of parliament are thick with rumours of party rebellions, breakaway factions and of a fundamental realignment of Japanese politics: few believe that Mr Aso has the skills, strategy or support to navigate his party through the next few months intact.

While Mr Aso, a divisive nationalist, has scrambled ever closer to the pinnacle of Japanese power, he has played down or ignored awkward questions about the murky history of the company that his father, Takakichi, ran during the war.

Although the allegations of slave labour have been a constant thorn in the side of Mr Aso in recent years, a supposed lack of hard evidence has allowed him to limit the damage to his reputation.

Before taking over as leader in September, Mr Aso was challenged directly over the history of the family business. Once again he refused to confirm any details about the business, whose offshoot, Aso Cement, he ran in the 1970s. “I was only five years old when the war ended, and have no memory of that time,” he said.

The refusal to acknowledge that side of the Aso company history has become more controversial as more evidence has emerged to confirm the allegations.

Documents from the United States National Archive, submitted by the Aso Mining company to the Supreme Commander for the Allied Forces in 1946, include a letter from the head of the company's Yoshikuma Coal Mine in Fukuoka to General Gen Sugiyama, the Minister of War.

The letter, dated February 22, 1945, politely requests permission to use 300 prisoners in the mines to undertake 12-hour working days for a year.

The typed document, produced on company paper, asserts that the prisoners of war were suitably fed and clothed and treated decently. Survivors of the ordeal have given very different versions of 15-hour days of forced labour in primitive conditions, with remorseless and exhausting work, starvation and beatings.

Arthur Titherington, of the Japanese Labour Camp Survivors' Association, told The Times that he was aware of the use of prisoners of war in the coalmine. “I was also forced to work in a mine as part of Japan's slave labour programme, although not the coalmine linked to the present Japanese Prime Minister. I had to work in a copper mine in Taiwan and I'm sure we were all treated in the same way, which was very badly,” he said.

The report was not accepted by the Japanese Government as absolute proof of the allegations, leading to a quest by opposition MPs for any shred of material archived in Japan that might authenticate the documents discovered in Washington.

That quest ended in a storeroom yards below the political heart of Tokyo with the discovery of a 43-page record. It detailed how Allied prisoners of war were deployed throughout a network of camps used to service the mines.

Next to the entry for Camp No 26 — the one believed to have provided men for the Aso mines — is written: “Brit: 101, Dutc 2, Aust 197, Total 300”.

Senior government members at the parliamentary committee meeting were forced to admit that the US documents now “seemed authentic” when they were presented with the papers.





ニューヨーク・タイムズ紙(米国)Japan Admits World War II Prisoners Worked at a Mine Owned by the Premier’s Family



AP通信(米国) Japan admits POW labor used in PM's family mine



デイリー・テレグラフ紙(英国) Japanese PM Taro Aso's family business used British PoWs



WA TODAY紙(豪州) Japan PM in wartime prisoner scandal



AFP通信(仏国)Japan says WWII prisoners worked for premier's company


AFP通信(日本語) 旧麻生鉱業に外国人捕虜、厚労省の公文書で明らかに



IBタイムズ紙(日本語版) 旧・麻生鉱業に外国人捕虜300人、厚労省が公文書開示



ニューシス (韓国通信社)



聯合ニュース (韓国通信社)



時事通信 「旧麻生鉱業に外国人捕虜300人=63年前、公文書に記載-厚労省」



日刊スポーツ紙(共同通信) 首相親族が経営の旧麻生鉱業に外国人捕虜



ジャパンタイムズ紙 It's official: Aso family mine used POW labor