• Kyodo

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Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori on Sunday left flowers at a cemetery in Irkutsk for Japanese who died in detention there after the end of World War II.

Mori, who is visiting Irkutsk for talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, visited the cemetery in the Siberian city where 421 Japanese prisoners of war are buried.

The cemetery is the only burial place containing Japanese in the city.

Some 600,000 Japanese soldiers and civilians were taken to Soviet labor camps from northeastern China at the end of World War II to engage in forced labor. An estimated 60,000 of them died there due to harsh conditions. The rest were repatriated between 1947 and 1950.

Prior to this visit, Mori also visited and left flowers at a tomb for unknown Russian soldiers from Siberia who participated in the defense of Moscow against Germany during the war.

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