World War II war trophies returned to families of fallen Japanese soldiers

Akitaka Nagasawa, left, shows photographs of his uncle Yoshio Nagasawa, whose portrait in uniform is at center. Yoshio Nagasawa's World War II-era flag was returned to his family in Japan on Monday, Nov. 25, 2019. OBON SOCEITY
Akitaka Nagasawa, left, shows photographs of his uncle Yoshio Nagasawa, whose portrait in uniform is at center. Yoshio Nagasawa's World War II-era flag was returned to his family in Japan on Monday, Nov. 25, 2019. OBON SOCEITY

World War II war trophies returned to families of fallen Japanese soldiers

by Seth Robson and Hana Kusumoto
Stars and Stripes

TOKYO — A photo album and two flags recovered from Pacific battlefields were returned this week to the families of the fallen Japanese soldiers who carried them into combat during World War II.

The mementos came home with the help of the Obon Society, a nonprofit group that enables veterans and their families to return old war trophies.

“When a relative leaves home and he is never found, it creates a hole in that family,” Obon Society founder Rex Ziak told journalists at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan on Nov. 21. “On the day that something comes back it fills that hole. It brings closure.”

The returned photo album, likely taken as a souvenir by an American soldier, belonged to Hideo Shikata, who was killed in action, aged 24, in the Philippines in 1945, Ziak said.

Read more at: https://www.stripes.com/-1.609045

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