Imperial Couple lay flowers at Filipino war monument

Kyodo

Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko visited a memorial to Japanese war dead southeast of Manila on Friday to commemorate those who died in the Philippines in some of the conflict’s fiercest fighting.

The Imperial Couple bowed their heads and laid white flowers before the monument at the Japanese Memorial Garden in Caliraya, Laguna province, after traveling around 65 km by helicopter from Manila.

More than 100 relatives of people who died in the war looked on as they paid their respects at the memorial.

The Imperial Couple previously visited Saipan, one of the Northern Mariana Islands, in 2005, and Palau last year for the 60th and 70th anniversaries, respectively, of the end of the war.

Around 1.1 million Filipinos and about 518,000 Japanese soldiers and civilians died in the Philippines during the war, which Japan fought in the name of the Emperor’s father Hirohito, posthumously known as Emperor Showa. The couple will return home on Saturday.