MEMORIAL TO THOSE KILLED DURING WORLD WAR II BATTLE OF PELELIU, PALAU PLANNED

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HONOLULU, Hawai‘i (April 5, 1999 - PIDP/CPIS/Hulsen)---Plans are under way to build a memorial on the Palau island of Peleliu in honor of thousands of U.S. and Japanese military personnel and Palauan citizens who died there during a major World War II Pacific battle.

The project is being spearheaded by Yuko Iwanami, granddaughter of General Hideki Tojo, who was blamed for Japan’s atrocities during the war and executed by the allied powers in 1948.

Iwanami announced the memorial plan while visiting Hawai‘i, including the USS Arizona battleship memorial at Pearl Harbor last week. The ship was sunk on December 7, 1941, when Japanese planes attacked the U.S. naval base, causing America to enter the war.

Military records show that the 1994 battle of Peleliu, near the end of World War II, resulted in the death of over 6, 500 U.S. marines and 3,000 soldiers, 10,000 Japanese soldiers and countless Palauans.

Iwanami’s planned memorial will include the names of every person killed during the battle.

Fundraising for the project has begun in Japan, with construction expected to get under way in about two years.

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