Japanese Association for Recovery and Repatriation of War casualties (JARRWC) has recovered 88 remains of the Japanese soldiers who have sacrificed their life during the second War World.
Their recovery was made possible through the support of the Japanese Association of Solomon Islands and local communities in the country.
To bring home their body to Japan and their families for proper burial, a cremation ceremony was held at the Japanese Memorial at Kakabona, West Honiara.
The ceremony was graced by Japanese Ambassador, His Excellency Shigeru Toyama including representatives from Honiara City council (HCC), Royal Solomon Islands Police (RSIPF) and the United States Navy.
It was a moving ceremony for the team as they reflected back and pay tribute to the lost souls.
JARRWC Team Leader, Atsunari Tokunaga told Solomon Star yesterday a total of 88 remains were cremated and will be transported back to Tokyo, Japan this week for DNA testing.
He said, after the DNA test, the remains will be handed over to their rightful family members for proper burials.
“We are so grateful for this mission to continue our efforts to collect the remains of our soldiers for proper burials.
“In fact it was not an easy job but we’re so grateful that we were able to get a good number of remains in this trip.
“These remains will certainly bring calm to our families back home as we strive to return all the remains of our soldiers who lost their lives here in Solomon Islands during the war,’’ he said.
Masahiko Sakurai also echoed similar sentiments like Tokunaga highlighted.
“We are so pleased about these discoveries,’’ he added.
“It will finally give peace for their immediate families.
However, he added that search for the remains of their people will still continue until they repatriate all the missing ones.
The recovery and collection of remains of Japanese soldiers has been an ongoing effort over the last decades.
According to data held by the government of Japan, it suggested approximately 26,000 soldiers have died in the Solomon’s.
Out that figure, 15,707 bodies have already been recovered and repatriated back to Japan.
During the cremation ceremony yesterday, JARRWC and Japanese Youth Memorial Association members presented emotional speeches.
JARRWC was established on 1 July 2016 with the backing of the Japanese Government to search, locate, and recover bones of the deceased soldiers to be returned to Japan for proper burials.
By CROFTON UTUKANA