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Even though 72 years have passed since the end of World War II, for Minoru Kawaida, 85, a little known event that happened on the morning of Feb. 6, 1944, remains at the forefront of his mind.

Having studied until 1 a.m., he overslept that morning. He remembers waking up in his home in Tarumizu, Kagoshima Prefecture, and saying, “Oh, no!” after realizing he had broken a promise to his closest friend and classmate, Terushi Kawabata, to go with him to Kagoshima that Sunday by ferry.

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