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Japan:Japan marks 66th anniversary of WW2 on Monday

Monday, August 15, 2011

Laaska News  August 15,2011

Events are due to be held across Japan on Monday, the 66th anniversary of the end of World War Two, in memory of the roughly 3.1 million people who perished in the war.

In Tokyo, a government-sponsored memorial ceremony will be held for the war dead with about 7,200 people, including bereaved families, expected to attend.

Prime Minister Naoto Kan will deliver a speech at the annual ceremony. Following a minute of silence at noon, Emperor Akihito will make an address.

Afterward, participants will lay flowers at an altar to console the spirits of the war dead.

Bereaved family members are an aging group, with those 70 or older expected to exceed 60 percent of all the attendees.

The number of widows of the war dead due to attend the ceremony is 43 — down by 2 from a year earlier — the fewest ever.

Meanwhile, the number of expected participants born after the war will increase by 31 to 451 — the most on record.

This year’s youngest attendee will be a 5-year-old boy from Okinawa Prefecture, southwestern Japan, who lost his great-grandfather in the war. He will take part in the ceremony with his grandfather and father.

A total of 140 people will attend the service from Iwate, Miyagi, and Fukushima prefectures, which were hit hardest by the March disaster.

But the number of expected participants from the 3 prefectures is down by 15 compared to last year. Prefectural officials say some people in devastated coastal areas cannot attend the ceremony.
Laaska News.