The government held a memorial service Monday for unidentified Japanese who died overseas in World War II and whose remains were returned to Japan last year.

The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare placed the ashes of 1,042 people at the Chidorigafuchi cemetery in Tokyo’s Chiyoda Ward, bringing to 348,406 the number of unidentified Japanese whose ashes are housed there.

A government mission brought the newly added ashes back to Japan from various places, including former Soviet republics, the Philippines and Iwojima Island.

Chieko Noono, senior vice minister of health, labor and welfare, said she mourns for the war dead, who helped build Japan’s foundation for Japan to establish the peace and prosperity it enjoys today.

Health, Labor and Welfare Minister Chikara Sakaguchi said in a message read by Noono that Japan will continue striving for peace.

Prince Hitachi and representatives of families of the war dead were among about 750 people who took part in the service.

The ashes of 22 people were returned to their families after the government verified their identities.

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