Kuentai to host 2nd memorial


The non-profit organization that exhumes the remains of Japanese soldiers killed in World War II will be doing its second memorial service this Friday, July 7, at the parking area of Aqua Resort Club in Achugao.

Kuentai is an organization with a mission to bring home the remains of Japanese soldiers who fought and died in foreign lands during the war.

According to Kuentai secretary general Usan Kurata and Kuentai USA secretary general Yukari Akatsuka, this mission was first started over 10 years ago.

The organization made it a mission to exhume on Saipan because of the large number of soldiers who died on the island during World War II.

According to Akatsuka, since the mission started, the organization has already exhumed over 800 Japanese remains on the island.

The organization hopes to exhume the remains of all the 5,000 Japanese soldiers who died on island during the Battle of Saipan.

Friday’s memorial service will be held at the Aqua Resort parking area because the area was found to be a mass burial site for Japanese soldiers.

According to Akatsuka, Japanese soldiers who died during the Battle of Saipan were bulldozed into trenches, making it easier for archaeologists to exhume their remains and identify them.

The organization uncovered six trenches starting from the Aqua Resort parking area up to Achugao and around Tanapag. Four of these trenches have been exhumed. These were the trenches located in and around Aqua Resort and Achugao.

The organization has worked closely with many different offices on the island. The organization made it a priority to attain all the permits required from the Historical Preservation Office, Department of Lands and Natural Resources, Coastal Resource Management, Marianas Visitors Authority, the Japanese government, the United States government, and other local government agencies.

The organization made sure that no local or federal laws were broken to accomplish their mission.

The organization is trying its best to bring as many Japanese soldiers’ remains as possible back to Japan with the help of the Japanese government.

This Friday’s memorial will have three religious leaders who will lead the memorial accompanied by 12 Japanese pioneers.

After the service these pioneers will visit the caves and burial sites and see, first hand, the sites where the remains of their ancestors were found.

Kimberly A. Bautista

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