Mitsubishi, Mitsui, ... and World War II Slave Labor

Lester I Tenney (Dr.)

The following is an excerpt from Dr. Lester I. Tenney's Testimony/Statement to US Senate Judiciary Committee on June 28 2000 on his POW Slave Labor experience at Mitsui (not Mitsubishi):

"I became a slave laborer in a coal mine owned by Mitsui. I was forced to shovel coal 12 hours a day 28 days a month, for over two years. And the reward I received for this hard labor was: beatings by the civilian workers in the mine. The reason for these beatings was because I did not work fast enough, did not shovel enough coal that day, or because the Americans won an important battle. We got to know how the war was progressing by the frequency and severity of the beatings, and the beatings were usually with a pickax, a hammer, or a chain whatever the Mitsui overseers in the mine were able to get their hands on.


The following is an excerpt from Dr. Lester I. Tenney's Testimony/Statement to US Congress in September 2002 on his POW Slave Labor experience at Mitsui (not Mitsubishi):

Can you begin to feel how we felt? But still, it wasn't enough. In Japan, we were enslaved, not held as prisoners of war, as international laws and military protocol dictate, but were enslaved - forced into mines that were collapsing, and steel mills and loading docks too dangerous to work at. In my case, I was forced to work in a coal mine owned by the industrial giant, Mitsui, who allotted me a bare 500 calories of rice each day, and the medical care was practically non-existent. It was in the coal mine where I was beaten, many times almost to the point of death. My back and shoulder were broken, my teeth knocked out, my nose and head split wide open, all of this done by the civilians working for Mitsui, and done on a regular basis. The real torture was being forced to watch my friends die. I remember my dear friend Andy Pavalockis who was placed in the guard house, starved for thirty days, then taken out and beaten until he died. And why? Because he didn't work fast enough for shoveling coal. In addition my two friends, Wally Cigoi and Bob Bronge, who had saved my life on The Bataan March, they also died a needless death.. How I wish I could have saved them during our enslavement. But nothing could have helped them.


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(Last Updated: January 15, 2004.)

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Some Keywords: World War 2, WWII, WW II, slave labor, slave labour, Mitsui Mining, Japan, Mitsubishi

"My back and shoulder were broken, my teeth knocked out, my nose and head split wide open, all of this done by the civilians working for Mitsui, and done on a regular basis."

A Mitsubishi- Eclipse of Ethics presentation.