Yukari Akatsuka, secretary general of Kuentai-USA, will be the featured guest on this Sunday’s “Your Humanities Half-Hour.”
Kuentai-USA is an NGO committed to recovering the remains of missing U.S. service personnel killed in the Pacific Theater during World War II. Its sister organization Kuentai-Japan, recovers the remains of Japanese war dead.
Akatsuka will discuss Kuentai’s work on Saipan, which, for the past few years, has focused on the Achugao area north of Tanapag Village.
Achugao was the scene of fierce fighting during the early morning hours of July 7, 1944 when more than 4,000 Japanese troops launched a “gyokusai” charge that overwhelmed two battalions of the 27th U.S. Infantry Division.
The battle claimed the lives of 400 U.S. troops and almost all of the Japanese participants.
Japanese casualties were buried in mass graves on the battlefield. U.S. war dead were collected and buried in a divisional cemetery, but several dozen men were never found and are still listed as missing in action (MIA).
Kuentai-USA has discovered several sets of remains that have been positively identified as being those of U.S. MIAs. Akatsuka will discuss Kuentai’s plans to continue work at Achugao and other locations in the CNMI.
“Your Humanities Half-Hour,” which airs each Sunday from 2pm to 2:30pm on Power 99, is hosted by Catherine R. Perry and sponsored by the Northern Marianas Humanities Council. (PR)