Japan's PM hopeful fails to acknowledge family use of slave labour

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Taro Aso, who is likely to be installed as Japan's new prime minister next week, today refused to acknowledge the use of hundreds of allied prisoners of war by his family's coal mining business during the second world war.

Aso, a former foreign minister who is widely expected to be elected leader of the ruling Liberal Democratic party [LDP] on Monday, would not comment directly on Aso Mining's use of an estimated 10,000 Korean forced labourers and 300 allied POWs at its Yoshikuma pit in Kyushu, south-western Japan.

"I was only five years old when the war ended so I honestly have no personal recollection of that time," Aso, 67, told reporters in Tokyo.

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