With many already close to death, they [American and Filipino troops and civilians] were forced to trudge [65 miles] toward a prisoner-of-war camp during a torrid time of year with little food or water. Those who stopped were killed. Japanese soldiers fractured skulls with rifle butts and cut off heads. Prisoners who tried to help fallen comrades were bludgeoned or stabbed. “One 18-year-old I knew, he fell down,” Mr. Brown said in the book [see below]. “A guard came along and put a gun to his head, pulled the trigger and walked away.”
The nightmare was hardly over when the survivors [of the Bataan Death March] arrived at the camp, or at the other camps in Japan to which many, including Captain Brown, were later taken. In three years in captivity Captain Brown was regularly beaten; thrown down stairs, seriously injuring his back; and struck in the neck by a rifle butt, causing a fracture. Though nearly 6 feet, he weighed 90 pounds when he was freed after the Japanese surrender.
Requests to obtain an apology from Mitsui for its use of and profit from POW slave labor have gone unanswered. Mitsui's corporate social responsibility charter, is founded upon its published values, which begin with the company's commitment to: Build trust with fairness and humility. If you want to ask Mitsui why it refuses to apologize for its extensive use and abuse of POW slave labor, fax its Washington, DC office, (202) 861-0437 or call (202) 861-0660 or email.