Regarding the Dec. 12 article “Kan takes in Iwojima graves hunt”: As the nephew of an American World War II service member missing in action, I commend Japan’s prime minister for journeying to Iwojima and showing the world how high a priority his government gives to recovering the remains of its soldiers, and bringing solace to their families.
The Geneva Conventions and customary international humanitarian law recognize that families have a right to demand that governments return to them the remains of family members killed as a result of war. Let us remember that today, 65 years after the end of World War II, many countries, including Japan, Germany, Russia, India, Italy, Korea, Taiwan, Britain and the United States, still have thousands of missing soldiers unaccounted for from that war. Thousands more are still missing from World War I.
Much more pressure must be brought to bear on the governments of countries where these soldiers’ remains are believed to be located, to repatriate these remains to their home countries and their families as soon as possible. And much more pressure must also be brought to bear on the governments of the soldiers to place higher priority on bringing back the soldiers’ remains to their families.