A World War II memorial service was held at the Chidorigafuchi National Cemetery in Tokyo on Monday, with no COVID-19-linked restriction on the number of participants in place.

The cemetery in Chiyoda Ward in the Japanese capital is for unknown victims of the war. A limit on the number of participants was set in the 2022 and 2023 events because of the novel coronavirus crisis after the ceremony itself was called off in 2020 and 2021 amid the pandemic.

About 450 people attended this year's event, including Japanese Crown Prince Akishino and Crown Princess Kiko, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshimasa Hayashi, Health, Labor and Welfare Minister Keizo Takemi, and representatives of bereaved relatives.

Referring to a decision to extend the period for intensively collecting remains for five years until fiscal 2029, Takemi said that the government will do its utmost to return as many remains as possible to their home country as early as possible. The government made the decision on the extension due partly to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, which started in February 2022.

At Monday's ceremony, held by the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry, the remains of an additional 301 people collected by government missions from places including Russia, the Mariana Islands, a U.S. territory, and Iwoto, a remote Tokyo island also known as Iwojima, were laid to rest. The number of people whose remains are placed at the cemetery now totals 370,700.