The Netherlands, an outsider's view.

The Netherlands, an outsider's view.

WW2

Dutch municipalities demand Mitsubishi address forced labor past before Eneco sale

Dutch energy company Eneco is due to be sold to Japanese company Mitsubishi, however, the sale has stalled.

The stall is due to Mitsibushi’s sordid Word War 2 past, where the company’s Mining and Heavy Industries divisions utilized forced labor in the Dutch East Indies. This labor was done by Dutch prisoners of war – some 661 of the 7,300 sent by the Japanese.

Enerco, which is owned by 44 Dutch municipalities, of which Rotterdam owns nearly 1/3 of shares, was to be sold for €4,1 billion, but now the municipalities want Mitsubishi to enter into a dialogue with the Dutch people about the problematic past. Should the sale go through, Rotterdam would receive some €1,3 billion with The Hague collecting €675 million.

It was the foundation Japanse Ereschulden who on January 16 demanded recognition, apology, and compensation for forced Mitsubishi Mining laborers. “We know the shocking and moving stories of prisoners of war who were forced to do forced labor for Japan during the Second World War,” Eneco’s shareholders’ committee has said. Now, they ask Mitsubishi to contact the Dutch victims before proceeding with the sale.

Mitsubishi Corporation’s stance has, thus far, been that the company in its current form was founded in 1954, after World War 2. The original 1870 founded company was split into dozens of smaller companies at the demand of the United States.

Featured Image: Michiel1972 [CC BY-SA]