Former American Prisoners of War (POWs) Pay a Courtesy Call on Mr. Katsuya Okada, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan

September 13, 2010

      Six former American prisoners of war (POWs), their spouses and their descendents, a total of 14 people, who are in Japan from September 12 (Sun) to 19 (Sun) at the invitation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, paid a courtesy call on Mr. Katsuya Okada, Minister for Foreign Affairs, for about 45 minutes from 11:45 a.m. on September 13 (Mon). The outline of the meeting is as follows.

  1. At the outset of the meeting, Minister Okada welcomed their visit to Japan and stated that even though circumstances had made it difficult, he felt sorry for taking more time to have the invitation program for former American POWs than for POWs of other countries, and that on behalf of the Government of Japan as Minister for Foreign Affairs, he extended his heartfelt apology to the former POWs over inhumane treatment and sufferings they experienced while they were held captive by the Imperial Japanese Army. Minister Okada further stated that he hoped this visit to Japan would be an opportunity to overcome their past bitter feelings and cooperate in promoting better Japan-U.S. relations in the future.
  2. Representing the participants in this program, Dr. Lester Tenney said that while the former American POWs has felt frustrated that the Government of Japan’s apology to them was not fully publicized and that Japanese companies which had forced them to work under inhumane conditions during the World War II have not showed their apology yet, he expressed their appreciation to the Government of Japan for providing the occasion to have dialogue with them.
  3. After that, there was a frank exchange of views between Minister Okada and the participants.