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By Moffat Mamu

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, July 6) – A Japanese World War II veteran of the Battle of Guadalcanal is in the Solomon Islands to pay tribute to his fallen comrades.

Mr. Ono, 80, is among 30 other visitors who arrived in Honiara on Monday for a five day visit to war monuments around Guadalcanal.

Masao Yamagata of Mendana Hotel told Solomon Star yesterday that for Mr Ono this visit could be his last.

"Mr Ono is one of the survivors in the 1945 Battle of Guadalcanal and this visit will be his last," Mr Yamagata said.

Yesterday, the visiting party made a visit to Mount Austin where a memorial service was held.

During that service, offerings, prayers and words of tribute were offered as a sign of respect and bereavement for the Japanese soldiers died during the war.

From Mt Austin the group visited Bloody Ridge for a similar ceremony and continued their trip to other parts of Guadalcanal - from Kakabona down to West Guadalcanal.

The group will also be part of country’s 27th Independence celebration on Thursday.

On Friday a final float will be conducted at Mataniko River before the group leaves the country on Friday.

Prior to coming to Honiara, the group visited Rabaul on Sunday to conduct a memorial service before coming over to Solomon Islands on Monday.

Yesterday’s ceremony was attended by Japanese Charge’d Affairs Katsuhiko Kubo and Minister of Culture and Tourism Trevor Olavae.

A handful of people from the surrounding area were also there to witness the brief ceremony at Mt Austin yesterday morning.

July 7, 2005

Solomon Star: http://www.solomonstarnews.com/

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