• Short Summary

    The 33rd anniversary of the completion of the infamous "Death Railway" from Thailand to Burma has been marked by a joint memorial ceremony between former Japanese and allied troops.

  • Description

    The 33rd anniversary of the completion of the infamous "Death Railway" from Thailand to Burma has been marked by a joint memorial ceremony between former Japanese and allied troops.

    The River Kwai is the focal point of the railway. Prisoners of war and slave labourers built a bridge over the river during World War Two. It was replaced by this one after the war. On Monday (25 October) a party of 42 former Japanese guards and ten former allied prisoners-of-war took part in the first joint memorial ceremony of its kind. In the past, separate memorial services had been held.

    The Japanese party was led by Mr. Takashi Nagase, of Tokyo, who organised the re-union of former enemies. Mr. Nagase said the Japanese government opposed the re-union--worrying that it might result in adverse publicity for Japan overseas. However, Mr. Nagase said, "I can take the responsibility".

    A war cemetery near the bridge is the final resting place of 7,000 allied P.O.W.'s. The official death toll of those who worked on the Burma Railway is given as 50,000. Fifteen thousand were allied P.O.W's; 35,000 were Thai, Burmese and Indonesian slave labourers, and 1,000 were Japanese soldiers.

    Allied P.O.W.'s came from Australia, the United States and one came from Britain. The Far East British Prisoners of War Organisation in Britain boycotted the re-union. One of the Australians said "You cannot forget, but you can forgive".

    The former British P.O.W. at the re-union said he felt it was time to stop hating.

    One American among the allied contingent said, "It is more than a pilgrimage. It is to show the world we can get along peacefully.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVA1N9ABNVQ1GD0PYO8D0Z6T7RZN
    Media URN:
    VLVA1N9ABNVQ1GD0PYO8D0Z6T7RZN
    Group:
    Reuters - Incuding Visnews
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    26/10/1976
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Colour
    Duration:
    00:02:09:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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