A team of third-party experts has confirmed through a re-examination that about 70 percent of remains brought from Siberia to Japan are highly unlikely to be those of Japanese detainees, the welfare ministry said Wednesday.
Last year, suspicions arose over the remains of 597 people and whether or not they were Japanese who were detained in the Russian region after World War II.
In an initial DNA analysis, the experts found indications in about 70 percent of the remains that they are not those of Japanese. The rest were unrecognizable, they said.
Seven of the nine burial sites where the remains of the 597 people were collected were not regularly used as burial sites for Japanese soldiers, the team said.
The team also concluded that the remains of 10 people collected in the Philippines in 2010 are also likely not those of Japanese, supporting a similar conclusion by other experts.
Currently, remains believed to be those of Japanese soldiers are cremated to honor them at the locations of collection, except for teeth, which are brought back to Japan for DNA analysis.