Japan acknowledges its victims as nation looks back in sorrow on anniversary of surrender

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The Independent Online
TOKYO (Reuter) - Japanese Imperial Navy veterans pay homage at the national shrine for Japan's war dead in Tokyo yesterday, the 48th anniversary of their country's surrender in the Second World War.

Japan's new Prime Minister, Morihiro Hosokawa, became the first premier of his country to express sympathy to victims of Japanese militarism. 'I would like to take this opportunity to express deep condolences to victims of the war and their relatives in neighbouring countries in Asia and those around the world,' Mr Hosokawa told veterans and relatives of war dead at the annual war memorial service.

Japanese historians, meanwhile, say they have unearthed documents proving that the Imperial Army conducted secret biological warfare in China during the war.

Researchers told journalists they had discovered journals compiled by the notorious Unit 731, which experimented on humans to create biological weapons, in the army's National Institute for Defence.

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