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Thursday, July 25, 2024

PH ready to repatriate remains of 300k WW2 Japanese soldiers

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The Philippines is ready to assist Japan in repatriating the remains of Japanese soldiers who died in the country during World War II, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr. said on Sunday.

In a statement, Abalos said the DILG and the Department of Foreign Affairs will be closely working with Japan to ensure that the recovery and repatriation will be carried out smoothly.

Over 300,000 remains of Japanese soldiers who died during World War II between 1942 and 1945 are believed to still be in the country.

“Japan remains one of the closest partners and allies of the Philippine government and we are ready to assist them in the recovery of the remains of their fallen soldiers,” he said.

Abalos met with officials of the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare (MHLW) of Japan headed by Minister for Economic Affairs Nihei Daisuke of the Embassy of Japan on Thursday.

DFA Deputy Assistant Secretary Raphael Hermoso also attended the meeting.

As the lead of the repatriation effort, Abalos said the DILG is in a strategic position to ensure that the repatriation process will be well coordinated with local government units, where some of the remains lie.

Abalos said the DILG will activate its resources and manpower to assist Japan in the repatriation in consonance with the Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) signed between the Philippine and Japanese governments in May 2018.

The MOC includes proper collection, handling, storage, and shipment of the remains.


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