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Still 1 Million Japanese MIA's

Discussion in 'WWII Today' started by GRW, Sep 15, 2020.

  1. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist WW2|ORG Editor

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    A truly staggering figure.
    "World War II ended over 75 years ago, but still, over one million Japanese soldiers are unaccounted for. Their remains are scattered from Russia, China, and Mongolia to the Pacific Islands and all across Asia. However, sadly the legacy of aggression by the Japanese during the war still hampers recovery efforts to this day.
    It is a sad fact that it is highly unlikely that the remains of these million men will ever be found, identified, and returned to their families for a dignified burial.
    The Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare in Japan is responsible for the support of grieving families, and they believe that only half the number of missing are retrievable. The rest are either at the bottom of the ocean, buried in unidentified places, or in unstable areas due to political or security reasons.
    Complicating the issue is the fact that relatives grow older and pass away. Documents and artifacts get lost or damaged, destroying valuable information. Storage capacity for remains that are recovered is also an on-going problem.
    In 2016 a concerted effort to recover remains was launched by the Japanese parliament. The laws promulgated promised an eight-year program to recover remains at any US military facility in the South Pacific. The US Department of Defense is co-operating to ensure DNA matching is undertaken.
    Regular and consistent DNA matching was not undertaken in Japan before 2003. Then it was only done at the specific request of the families. This year, Japan began a comprehensive DNA testing environment and information center for any remains located.
    The Japanese government has never been diligent at returning the remains of fallen soldiers to their families. In 1943, families received boxes containing stones but no information about where the soldier lost his life; instead, they insisted that all dead soldiers would be honored as gods at the Yasukuni Shrine."
    www.warhistoryonline.com/news/japanese-2.html
     
  2. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

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    "honored as gods at the Yasukuni Shrine." - How can they KNOW what took place and say this??
    I think it's likely many records where destroyed to protect not only those that died but also those who surrendered. Protect their "honour" and that of the families...
    They were in other countries as invaders and overlords...their dead can stay where they are.
    We are allies now, but back then mortal enemies...responsible for a terrible toll so uneccesary...sorry if I lack compassion.
     
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  3. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist WW2|ORG Editor

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    I remember reading an article on the islands campaign- it might have been Iwo Jima and it might have been After the Battle- when they went back in the '80s and excavated some caves. They recovered Japanese remains and gave them a funeral pyre on the beach, I think.
    Bet that's a common occurrence all over the Far East.
     
  4. ARWR

    ARWR Active Member

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    Japanese military personnel killed or missing 1937 -1945 have been estimated as being 1,740,000 across all theatres. Chinese losses amongst the military alone is estimated as over 4,000,000 killed or missing. In addition Chinese civilian losses may have been as high as 18,000,000 including starvation. One imagines there is a certain lack of Sino sympathy.
     
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  5. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    The Japanese have been recovering the remains of their war dead there since 1968.
     
  6. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Well, the word is "Kami", and while the direct English translation is "god", the meaning is much more complicated. As Kami are not omnipotent all-powerful beings akin to God or Allah. Kami can be good, evil, or anywhere in between.
    Kami - Wikipedia
     
  7. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    I believe it was in 2016 that it was estimated that 200,000 were missing in China, 21,000 were missing in North Korea, 300,000 were lost at sea, and about 800 were missing in Uzbekistan - and are considered unrecoverable.
     
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