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Ex-Aust POW demands Japan PM apologize over slave labor

20 Jun 2009 12:33 AM

A former Australian prisoner of war has demanded that Japan's Prime Minister TARO ASO apologise for the use of forced POW labour at a coal mine operated by the Aso family during World War II.

JOSEPH COOMBS .. who worked 12-hour days in the mine where at least two of his fellow Australian servicemen died .. says ASO is the grandson of the mine operator.

The 88-year-old from Sydney has travelled to Tokyo to put his demands .. and he also wants compensation.

Japan acknowledged for the first time last year .. that ASO'S family-run mine in Fukuoka used POWs as slave labour during the final months of the war.

ASO has acknowledged it too .. but has never apologised and declines to meet COOMBS.