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Memorial for Japanese who died in Georgia after WWII unveiled

Thursday, March 18
On March 17, 2010, a ceremony commemorating the Japanese detainees who were imprisoned after World War II by the former Soviet Union and died in Georgia was held in the park named after Vaso Godziashvili (Saburtalo district), on the occasion of the construction of a memorial dedicated to them.

In August 1945 the former Soviet Union waded into the war against Japan in violation of the Japanese-Soviet Neutrality Pact and detained many Japanese people after the war had ended. These detainees, numbering about 575,000, were dispersed throughout the territory of the former Soviet Union, including Siberia, and forced to engage in hard physical labour in very severe conditions. About 3,000 were taken all the way to Georgia and about 50 regrettably died here without seeing their homeland again.

The monument unveiled yesterday commemorates the Japanese detainees who never returned to Japan. The ceremony was attended by representatives of the Government of Georgia, Tbilisi City Hall, the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare of Japan and the Embassy of Japan in Georgia.

Such a tragedy of war should not be repeated again. The Government of Japan hopes that this monument will mark one more step towards lasting world peace and serve to further the development of the existing good relations between Japan and Georgia.