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HOME  > Past issues  > 2022 August 24 - 30  > JCP Koike at memorial for ex-POWs resolves to protect Constitution
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2022 August 24 - 30 [PEACE]

JCP Koike at memorial for ex-POWs resolves to protect Constitution

August 24, 2022

A memorial service for the prisoners of war who were interned by the former Soviet Union and died in Siberia or Mongolia after WWII took place on August 23 at Chidorigafuchi National Cemetery in Tokyo.

With the average age of the former internees turning 99 this year, about 150 attendees of the service called on the government to uncover the whole truth of the POW issue.

Along with several other ruling and opposition party Dietmembers, Japanese Communist Party Secretariat Head Koike Akira gave an address as a guest. He pointed out that a project to collect the remains of the former POWs and related materials in Siberia and Mongolia has been slow due to the ongoing war between Ukraine and Russia. He said, "Russia has the responsibility to cooperate in the project and the Japanese government should complete the project as planned based on the relevant special measures law." He called for an immediate halt to Russia's military incursion and expressed his determination to protect the postwar pacifist Japanese Constitution.

A 96-year-old former Japanese POW testified that he was sent to Siberia by rail while burying the dead bodies lying along the rail tracks on the way 77 years ago. Regrading Russia's invasion of Ukraine, he said, "It is totally wrong for anyone to kill others. Demolitions, looting, abuses against war captives and citizens, and forced removal of residents are all impermissible."

A 79-year-old bereaved family member said, "We must pass down the tragic memory of POWs to younger generations."

Past related article:
> Ex-Japanese POWs want remains of the dead to be collected [August 24, 2016]

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