• Kyodo

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A monument dedicated to adventurer Hyoichi Kono, whose body was found in the Arctic Ocean last year, has been unveiled in Canada, supporters of the adventurer said Thursday.

Unveiled Wednesday, the monument for Kono, who died at age 43, was built at his base camp in the Canadian hamlet of Resolute.

“This commemorative monument represents the hope of those who loved and supported Hyoichi Kono that his adventurous spirit will be remembered,” its inscription reads.

About 60 people, including Kono’s widow, Junko, 44; Yoshikazu Inoue, mayor of his hometown of Seto, Ehime Prefecture; organizers of his memorial; and local supporters at Resolute attended the ceremony and offered flowers, the supporters said.

In the dedication ceremony, Inoue said Kono showed them the importance of having the courage to take one step forward.

Kono, whose feats include a solo walk to the North Pole and a trek through the Sahara desert, set out on March 27 last year to travel about 15,000 km by foot and kayak from the North Pole to his home in Ehime Prefecture via Canada, Alaska and Sakhalin.

His body was found on May 24 in the frozen Arctic Ocean about a week after he lost contact with his support group.

In May 1997, he became the first Japanese and the third person ever to walk solo to the North Pole.

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