By Daniel Hunter

Mitsubishi has apologised for forcing US prisoners of war to work during World War Two.

At a ceremony in Los Angeles, a senior executive at the Japanese car manufacturer apologised on behalf of the company, which forced prisoners to work in mines operated by the company.

It is a landmark statement, and is believed to be the first such apology made by a Japanese firm.

Very few of those forced to work are still alive today, but 94-year old James Murphy was there to accept the apology.

"For 70 years we wanted this," he said.

"I listened very carefully to Mr Kimura's statement of apology and found it very very sincere, humble and revealing.

"We hope that we can go ahead now and have a better understanding, a better friendship and closer ties with our ally, Japan."

Mr Murphy is understood to have been one of around 500 US prisoners of war forced to work in mines.

He told US media that he spent a year working in a mine in Hanawa, which he described as "a complete horror".