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Japan receives documents on its 300,000 POW in USSR - newspaper

March 07, 11:12 UTC+3 TOKYO
As Japan surrendered on September 2, 1945, more than one million Japanese nationals were taken prisoners by the Red Army and sent to camps
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© News in pictures TASS / Archive

TOKYO, March 7. /TASS/. The Japanese government received information from the Russian State Archive on the country’s almost 300,000 people, who were prisoners of war in the USSR, Japan’s Yomiuri wrote on Monday.

The newspaper writs that the archive kept data on relocations of 286,655 Japanese national, who during World War II were taken prisoners in Sakhalin and the Kuril Islands. The daily says 1,069 could not make it back home - "they were other directed to forced labor or detained by intelligence services." Formerly, the Japanese side was not aware of this aspect, the newspaper writes.

Till recently the Japanese side did not know those documents existed, and the secrecy was lifted off those documents in 2012 only. The Japanese government began studying the archived documents in early April last year. At that time already, the government stated the documents contained much information, which was not known earlier, about Japanese prisoners of war, including the data on those who died or were missing while in the territory of the USSR.

Studies of the new documents will give further information on events related to Japanese prisoners of war in the USSR, who in Japan are referred to as those "interned to Siberia." In December 2014, governments of the two countries agreed the Japanese side would analyze the documents, the newspaper writes.

As Japan surrendered on September 2, 1945, more than one million Japanese nationals were taken prisoners by the Red Army and sent to camps. Japan’s ministry of healthcare, labor and wellbeing said about 730,000 of them were later on returned to Japan.

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