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HOME  > Past issues  > 2018 August 22 - 28  > Ceremony held to mourn Korean war dead whose remains are still kept in Japan
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2018 August 22 - 28 [PEACE]

Ceremony held to mourn Korean war dead whose remains are still kept in Japan

August 26, 2018

At Yutenji Temple in Tokyo which temporarily shelters the remains of 700 Koreans who were forced to serve in or work for the former Japanese military during WWII, a ceremony took place on August 24 to mourn the victims.

Most of the remains are identified with a Japanese name because Koreans were ordered to change their names to Japanese names by the Japanese government after the annexation of Korea. The ceremony was the 30th event held by a citizens’ group working to help return the remains to their hometowns and families.

The 700 remains include those who were executed as class B/C war criminals as well as those killed in a 1945 incident in which the Japanese Navy cargo ship “Ukishima maru” was sunk near Kyoto’s Maizuru Port due to an underwater mine placed by the U.S. military. The ship was carrying about 3,700 Korean workers and their families.

One of the ceremony attendants survived the Ukishima-maru incident when he was a 16-year-old radio operator on the Navy ship. The Japanese man said that when he was taking a bath in the ship, suddenly he heard a loud bang and was thrown into the air. He added that he could easily have died and that is why he takes part in this ceremony every year.

A representative of the citizens’ group said that the group hopes that all the remains will be returned to their homes as soon as possible.

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