• Kyodo

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A memorial service was held Friday on Iwojima Island for those who died in fighting on the island, some 1,200 kilometers south of Tokyo, during World War II.

About 50 people, including family members of those who died and Tokyo Vice Gov. Takeo Hamauzu, attended the annual ceremony, held shortly after noon on a hill in the center of the island.

After singing the national anthem, Hamauzu gave a speech and the representative of the victims’ families gave words of condolence.

The attendants later toured a peace memorial park and cemetery on Suribachiyama hill and other battle sites.

U.S. troops landed on the island on Feb. 19, 1945 and organized resistance by Japanese troops ended March 14 the same year.

The battle claimed the lives of about 20,000 Japanese soldiers and 7,000 U.S. soldiers, according to the Tokyo metropolitan government, which has administrative jurisdiction over the island.

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