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Japan emperor prays at WWII battleground on Pacific island

Japan emperor prays at WWII battleground on Pacific island

TOKYO (AP) — The emperor of Japan is visiting a remote Pacific island to pray for thousands of Japanese and American soldiers who died during the World War II battle of Pelelilu.

Emperor Akihito and his wife Empress Michiko arrived by helicopter Thursday on Pelelilu island in Palau, a western Pacific nation ruled by Japan for about 30 years after World War I.

The battle of Pelelilu, which started in September 1944, left about 10,000 Japanese and 1,700 Americans dead. The U.S. took control three months later.

The emperor's visit highlights the slow-moving search for the remains of missing Japanese soldiers. Only half of the 2.4 million Japanese who died overseas have been recovered.


Updated : 2021-09-22 11:14 GMT+08:00