Activists seeking apologies for Japanese wartime atrocities

By Justin Pritchard Associated Press Writer
Saturday September 08, 2001



SAN FRANCISCO — Fifty years after Japan and the United States formally ended World War II, the peace that built Japan into an industrial powerhouse has eluded thousands of American POWs forced to labor for Japanese companies. 

No less bitter are the estimated 200,000 women, many from Korea, who Japanese soldiers held as sex slaves. China still seethes over the massacre of up to 300,000 people in the Rape of Nanking. 

The lingering unease that Japan will not face atrocities it committed during its march across Asia has clouded celebrations that commemorate the 50th anniversary of the San Francisco Peace Treaty. Those celebrations culminate Saturday, when Secretary of State Colin Powell and Japanese Foreign Minister Makiko Tanaka will honor cooperation between the two allies. 

The Japanese newspaper Asahi reported Friday that during the ceremony, Tanaka will apologize for the suffering of American prisoners of war. There was no immediate confirmation from the Japanese government. 

“The only way this treaty’s