Forced labour victim thanks Song Hye-kyo for rejecting offer from Mitsubishi Motors

20 May 2016 / 5 months 1 week ago

Son Ji-hyoung
The Korea Herald/ANN
Wednesday, May 18, 2016

A Korean woman who was pressganged into labour during the Japanese colonial era thanked actress Song Hye-kyo for rejecting an offer from Japanese automaker Mitsubishi Motors in a handwritten letter, Yonhap News Agency reported Monday.

The 84-year-old lady named Yang Geum-duk wrote in the letter that she was "exalted" to hear the news.

"Song did a fabulous job, which even President Park Geun-hye could not achieve," Yang said. "This was so moving that I felt like my old resentment washed away. I was exalted."

Yang was conscripted when she was a sixth grader, and sent to a fighter jet factory run by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in Nagoya, Japan. She was not paid for her 18 months of labour.

The Japanese giant is known to have mobilized more than 100,000 Koreans for forced labour before and during World War II. According to Yonhap News Agency, Mitsubishi Motor has extended neither apology nor compensation.

The Japanese carmaker, which was spun off from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in 1970, asked Song Hye-kyo to appear in a Chinese advertisement. The offer, however, was declined last month by Song's agency UAA, which "didn't even require a second glance."

Song garnered worldwide popularity after she starred in KBS 2TV series "Descendants of the Sun."

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