Former Australian prisoner of war Alfred Ellwood can vividly recall being interrogated and at times tortured by the Imperial Japanese Army's notorious military police after he was captured in East Timor, an experience that scarred him most of his life.

But during a recent visit to Japan, Ellwood, 89, said he no longer harbors any animosity toward the country responsible for his suffering, nor its people, whom he praised for adopting a war-renouncing Constitution.

Ellwood, from Kensington, Victoria, was an army captain when he was captured Sept. 29, 1943, by the Imperial Army's 48th Division two months after landing on East Timor by boat, and was mostly held in the capital, Dili, before being transferred to the island of Bali. He was eventually liberated there by Allied forces on Oct. 2, 1945.