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Japan Times

  • Originally published 08/15/2013

    Papers that pushed for Pacific War revisited

    The key was lost and the safe remained locked for 22 years after the 1989 death of its owner, former Lt. Gen. Teiichi Suzuki of the Imperial Japanese Army, who had been the last surviving Class-A war criminal of World War II.Suzuki, who died at the age of 100 in Shibayama, Chiba Prefecture, was among key Cabinet members when Japan started the Pacific War with the Dec. 7, 1941, surprise attack on Pearl Harbor.Two years ago, Suzuki’s relatives had NHK open the safe. Inside were diaries, notebooks and other documents, including a 16-page typed manuscript that the general had read out in front of Emperor Hirohito and national leaders at an Imperial Conference on Nov. 5, 1941, to detail Japan’s logistical strengths.Suzuki, who headed the Planning Board, a government body in charge of allocating resources for the army, navy and civilians, concluded that Japan, which was already at war in China, would be able to still wage war against the United States, Britain and the Netherlands....

  • Originally published 08/15/2013

    Ainu fight for return of plundered ancestral remains

    Shigeru Kayano, one of the most well-known and respected Ainu figures of modern times, writes in his autobiography “Our Land Was a Forest” about the loathing he felt as a young man for the shamo (Japanese) researchers who used to visit his village and family home.“In those days I despised scholars of Ainu culture from the bottom of my heart . . .“Each time they came to Nibutani, they left with folk utensils. They dug up our sacred tombs and carried away our ancestral bones....

  • Originally published 07/10/2013

    Frozen mammoth gets day in sun

    YOKOHAMA – An almost perfectly preserved frozen mammoth, excavated from the permafrost in eastern Siberia, was unveiled to the media Tuesday in Yokohama, where it will be on display from Saturday.The 3-meter-tall mammoth is a 10-year-old female and is presumed to have died about 39,000 years ago. The frozen carcass, named “Yuka” after Russia’s Sakha (Yakutia) Republic where it was discovered, is believed to be one of the world’s largest.Excavated in 2010, Yuka has a long trunk, arms and legs preserved in almost perfect condition. Since then, the carcass was conserved and studied by researchers at an institute in Russia....

  • Originally published 07/02/2013

    Cambodian graveyard mystifies experts

    PHNOM PEL, CAMBODIA – More than 100 burial jars and a dozen coffins arranged on a ledge in remote Cambodian jungle have for centuries held the bones — and secrets — of a mysterious people who lived during the Angkor era.Why the bones were placed in jars on a cliff some 100 meters high in the Cardamom Mountains — or indeed whose remains they are — has long puzzled experts.For seven years Nancy Beavan, an archaeologist who specializes in carbon dating, has been looking for an answer, painstakingly piecing together clues left by the enigmatic people at 10 sites dotted across the area in southwestern Cambodia....