HC Deb 11 March 1998 vol 308 c259W
Mr. Jim Cunningham

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what plans he has to press for further(a) apologies and (b) compensation from the Japanese for the treatment of British prisoners of war. [33650]

Mr. Fatchett

The Japanese Prime Minister, Mr. Ryutaro Hashimoto, made a formal apology on behalf of his Government for the ill-treatment of the British prisoners of war to the Prime Minister in January. He subsequently repeated this apology direct to the British people via an article in a major British newspaper.

Since taking office last May, we have held a series of high-level discussions with the Japanese Government on ways to help the former prisoners of war. Throughout these talks, the Japanese Government referred to the 1951 San Francisco Peace Treaty which legally settled the question of compensation at governmental level. It is clear that there is no prospect of a new round of compensation.