Japanese soldiers who survived the slave labor, starvation and bitter cold of Siberian prison camps after the war could count themselves lucky, but not count any significant cold cash for their ordeal.

It is estimated that 55,000 out of some 600,000 Japanese prisoners taken to Siberia died in captivity, and those lucky enough to return home were in many cases just barely alive.

Instead of redressing their hardships, the government established the Public Foundation for Peace and Consolation Incorporated Administrative Agency to ease their pain and suffering. Silver goblets, official letters from the prime minister and 100,000 yen were given to those who applied -- as a gesture of "comfort."