Japan emperor heads for WW2 battlefield as war memories haunt Asia

April 8, 2015 1:15 AM

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Japan emperor heads for WW2 battlefield as war memories haunt Asia

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese Emperor Akihito heads on Wednesday for the island nation of Palau where he will visit a World War Two battlefield, the latest journey in his efforts to soothe the wounds of a conflict that haunts Asia 70 years after its end.

Some 10,000 Japanese defenders, fighting in the name of Akihito's father, Emperor Hirohito, died in a two-month battle in 1944 on Palau's tiny Peleliu island along with about 1,600 American troops. Unaware Japan had surrendered on Aug. 15, 1945, 34 Japanese soldiers hid in the jungle until April 194...

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