18 January 2011

Japanese Companies and the U.S.: A Shared Dark History

Picture from here

This post is about something that has caused me a large loss of confidence in our country's protection and appreciation of our veterans. When I was in college, I wrote my senior thesis on some of the POWs , formerly of the heavy cruiser Houston, held by Japan. I learned that many of the POWs had not only been used as slave labor to build the bridge on River Kwai, but also used as slave labor in many industries that are well known today. The businesses were never penalized for their treatment of our men. If you follow this link you can see a short video about this (embedding for this video is not allow; that's why you need to follow link). I read of this in my research in a book by Linda Goetz Holmes titled Unjust Enrichment: How Japan's Companies Built Postwar Fortunes Using American POWs. The U.S. government has consistently forbidden former POWs from suing these Japanese companies. What can we do to put a hurting on them? We can stop buying any products made from these companies and to be sure that they're not making money off of Americans just stop buying ANYTHING made in Japan. It is shameful that our own country won't force Japan to pay reparations to our heroes when we paid reparations to the Japanese Americans who were were sent to relocation camps. Is a military person any less deserving than a civilian? I don't think so. Perhaps our country should pay the survivors instead of Japan. Unfortunately, there are few survivors left so we better get a move on before they're all gone.

More articles on this topic:

Search Amazon.com for Unjust Enrichment: How Japan's Companies Built Postwar Fortunes Using American POWs


  1. You are so right Sharon. This post is very moving and meaningful too. It is a crying shame. I want to cry. It just started pouring down rain here as soon as I said that then my eyes are filled with tears. God bless, wow it is raining hard now.

  2. I got pretty emotional when I was writing my thesis. When I read about how the guards would abuse the men I cried and cried. I was fortunate to meet some of the survivors and they were very gracious gentlemen.

  3. This is so horrible, how devastating for everyone who went through that.

  4. I was fortunate to meet some of the survivors and one of them, the late Mr. Jack Smith was extremely helpful to me and gave me so much information. I probably would have been a bitter person after the experiences he went through but he was a kind, gentleman in the truest sense of the word.


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