The deaths of up to 100 Korean workers, due to poor living conditions and attempted escapes, at a construction site in Japan, was reported in July of 1922. They were working at a hydroelectric dam project construction site, on the Shinano River, Niigata Prefecture. They were working for the Okura zaibatsu, a family who had made a killing in the arms business.
Okura zaibatsu, founded by Ōkura Kihachirō (1837-1928), also owned the Benxihu (Honkeiko) Colliery mine in China, run by slave labor, where the worst mine disaster occurred in 1942 (another, longer, story for another day). Zaibatsu (literally financial clique) refers to family based “industrial and financial business conglomerates in the Empire of Japan, whose influence and size allowed control over significant parts of the Japanese economy from the Meiji period…“ The names of most zaibatsu are international household names today.
Shin’etsu Electric Power Inc., which was later…
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