POWs win apol­ogy from Ja­pan

Townsville Bulletin - - News -

THE Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment has wel­comed an apol­ogy by Ja­pan to five Aus­tralian dig­gers held pris­oner dur­ing World War II.

The for­mer POWs have m e t w i t h J a p a n e s e For­eign Min­is­ter Seiji Mae­hara in Tokyo.

‘ ‘ F o r e i g n M i n i s t e r Mae­hara’s apol­ogy was made in a spirit of rec­on­cil­i­a­tion,’’ Aus­tralian For­eign Min­is­ter Kevin Rudd said yes­ter­day.

‘‘ The Aus­tralian gov­ern­ment wel­comes ( the) apol­ogy to Aus­tralian prisoners of war for the hor­rors they en­dured un­der Ja­panese con­trol in World War II.’’

One mem­ber of t he group, Harold Ram­sey, 89, said the apol­ogy from Mr Mae­hara was sin­cere.

‘‘ We waited a long time but it was sin­cere and much bet­ter time than when I was here be­fore in 1944,’’ he said af­ter meet­ing Mr Mae­hara.

‘‘ This is re­ally very sin­cere.’’

Be­fore the meet­ing, Mr Ram­sey said ‘‘ if you go through life full of hate, the only per­son you hurt is your­self’’.

The for­mer POW from Vic­to­ria joined the army at the age of 18.

He was cap­tured in Java while still a pri­vate, and worked build­ing the Thai-Burma rail­way bef o r e b e i n g s e n t t o Kawasaki, near Tokyo.

good,

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