AOMORI — Chemical experts of the Ground Self-Defense Force were analyzing air samples July 14 from a site where three soldiers died from apparent gas poisoning during a training drill late July 12.

The dead, part of a 23-strong GSDF ranger corps unit, were identified as Cpl. Hirotada Funahashi, 21, Cpl. Takanori Sasaki, 22, and Cpl. Yuichi Takahashi, 22. The three were found in fields at the foot of the Hakkoda mountains in Aomori Prefecture in a sight known to locals as a “gas hollow,” where animals have been found dead nearby.

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