• Kyodo


A man who remained on Sakhalin Island after World War II and returned to Japan on July 2 for the first time in 67 years headed back to his home in Russia’s southern republic of Kalmykiya on Sunday.

Prior to his departure from New Chitose Airport near Sapporo, Yoshiteru Nakagawa, 79, said, “The fact that my sisters are well and that I was able to visit my parents’ grave stand out in my memory.

“I would like to visit Japan with my wife next year,” said Nakagawa, who now lives along the Caspian Sea with his own family.

During his visit, Nakagawa stayed at the home of his sister, Toyoko Chiba, 75, in Bibai, Hokkaido, and met with his 60-year-old sister, Tomoko Orui, whom he had never seen before because she had not been born when the family was separated.

At the airport, he bid farewell to his sisters, who were in tears, and shouted “Banzai” before he went into the inspection area.

Nakagawa, who was born in Yamagata Prefecture in 1926, moved to Sakhalin together with his family before the war.

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