By Katie Aizon, KUAM News Intern

Celebrating 80 years of liberation, the Government of Guam and Japan Consulate commemora
ted lives lost during the war as Guam transfers custody of World War II Japanese soldier remains back to Japan.

Governor Lou Leon Guerrero and Consul General Rumiko Ishigami shared how this act is a symbol of forgiveness and friendship between nations.

“Many of us have forgiven but of course we have not forgotten. We will never forget the atrocities of war but that doesn’t stop us from forgiving and moving forward to forge friendship,” said Leon Guerrero. 

“This gesture truly signifies the spirit of CHamoru inafa’maolek or CHamoru spirit of harmony for which Japan is forever grateful,” said Ishigami. 

Guam State Historic Preservation Officer Pat Lujan said the remains were found in three locations. 

One in Pagat was confirmed to be a soldier with who had World War II artifacts; three to four individuals were also found in a crypt at the South Pacific Peace Park and extracted in 2018; the third finding was remains of five individuals located in 2020 during renovations at the Northern Waste Water Treatment plant.