A Japanese citizens’ group recently released a list of about 3,500 Allied prisoners of war who died after being captured by the Japanese military during World War II, disclosing their names, nationality and cause of death.

It is the first time such a list has been released to the public, said Taeko Sasamoto, one of the cofounders of POW Research Network Japan. The list reveals that 3,526 POWs died in Japanese custody.

“Relatives would like to know where and why they died. We also want the Japanese people to properly know the truth about abuse (suffered by the prisoners),” said Sasamoto, 56.

The information can be accessed at the group’s Web site at http://homepage3.nifty.com/pow-j/.

The list is based on a roster of POWs obtained from the National Diet Library and supplementary data the group independently investigated and acquired at various monuments across Japan. The roster at the library was created by the Supreme Commander Allied Powers at the end of the war.

According to the list, Japan had about 130 POW camps. More than 30,000 prisoners were forced by the Japanese military to work mainly in coal mines and factories.

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