Japan marks World War II anniversary

2011-08-15 07:38

Tokyo – Japan observed the 66th anniversary of the end of World War II today as it struggles to cope with its worst nuclear crisis and recover from the natural disasters that struck the northeast in March.

Some 7 200 people, including Emperor Akihito, Empress Michiko and Prime Minister Naoto Kan attended the yearly ceremony in central Tokyo to remember 3.1 million soldiers and civilians who perished in the war.

The premier had said in March the country was facing the biggest crisis since the end of World War II as it was struggling to avert a nuclear disaster.

The Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station has leaked radiation since it was crippled by the quake and tsunami.

Three of its six nuclear reactor cores suffered meltdowns, the worst atomic accident since the 1986 Chernobyl disaster in Ukraine.

The March natural disaster killed nearly 15 700 while police continued to search more than 4 600 who are still missing.

The prime minister said Japan should use its experience in rebuilding after its defeat in World War II as a lesson that it could recover.

“Our nation lifted itself out of the ruins of the war and overcame many difficulties,” he said, “with this experience, the devastated areas, and our nation will recover strongly from the disaster.”

Today, tens of thousands of people were expected to visit Yasukuni Shrine in central Tokyo, a war memorial that enshrined the nation’s war dead including convicted war criminals.

Kan said he and his cabinet ministers would not visit the controversial shrine, which enrages the country’s erstwhile enemies, particularly Chinese and Koreans.

A group of 52 lawmakers visited the shrine today.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.