FEATURE: Souls of war dead return to mothers, not Yasukuni, says ex-navigator

October 29, 2015 5:32 am 

OKAYAMA, Japan, Oct. 28 — Souls of the war dead during World War II returned to their mothers rather than the Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo, maintains 92-year-old ship navigator Shinji Hirata.

The Sino-Japanese war of 1937-1945 broke out when Hirata was 14. His parents sent him to a nautical school so that he would not be drafted into the military.

After graduation, nevertheless, students were required to attend a military muster at the naval education unit in Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture, and stay there for six months. Hirata remembers high-ranking officers saying that Japan would never beat the United States in war. (PNA/Kyodo)

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