Although the death of his comrades meant little to him at the time, a former World War II reserve kamikaze pilot says a remark by a ranking officer after Japan's surrender that the country had fought the war in vain troubled him greatly.

Now, Tomokazu Kasai, 89, hopes young people will make efforts to learn about the war and its consequences.

When aerial suicide attacks began in the Philippines in October 1944, Kasai, who was then 18, was assigned the role of reserve pilot. He remembers telling the pilots who left on missions, "Alright, trust me. I will follow you soon."