The remains of 2,332 unidentified people who died abroad during World War II were laid to rest at Tokyo’s Chidorigafuchi war memorial Monday in a serene, government-sponsored ceremony, nearly 53 years after the war’s end.
With the newly housed remains collected by government agents over the course of the year from countries including the former Soviet Union, the Philippines and Mongolia, the memorial now holds the remains of 344,221 Japanese killed during World War II. “Many compatriots fell in battle on foreign soil,” said vice health minister Yoshiaki Harada, who attended to represent Health and Welfare Minister Junichiro Koizumi. “We mourn deeply for the precious lives sacrificed during the war, and we renew our nation’s resolve to work toward eternal peace.”
Among the 600 present at the ceremony were Prince Akishino, his wife, Princess Kiko, representatives of the Prime Minister’s Office and 279 relatives of those who died in the war. Ambassadors from the Russian Federation and Mongolia each presented a yellow chrysanthemum in honor of the war dead.
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