Sixty sets of remains believed to be of Imperial Japanese Army soldiers have been found in Indonesian jungles, Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry officials said Monday.
The ministry will send officials, possibly by the end of the year, to Indonesia to examine whether the remains are truly those of Japanese soldiers who died there during World War II. If confirmed, the officials will bring them home.
According to the officials, about 60 bodies were found in Jayapura, the capital of Papua Province, and several other sets of remains were found on Biak Island.
The ministry obtained the information about the remains, which appear to be those of young men, this summer from a Japanese citizen who had heard from locals about the bodies while traveling in Indonesia to console the souls of those who died in the war.
Separate reports say several dozen more sets of remains have been found in the area, which may bring the total number of dead to about 100, the officials said.
In March, the remains of 16 people found in the areas were confirmed to be those of Japanese soldiers from the war.
Jayapura was one of the strongholds of the Imperial Japanese Army, with more than 10,000 Japanese living there during the war. Many of the soldiers fled to the jungles and died after the U.S. forces landed in 1944.
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