米軍元捕虜の訪日継続 外相が意欲

朝日新聞
201310160500

 第2次大戦中に日本軍に捕らえられた米国の元捕虜らが来日し、15日に岸田文雄と面会した。民主党政権が2010年に始めた交流事業で、政権交代後の実施は初めて。「侵略の定義」など先の大戦をめぐり持論を主張する安倍晋三首相の下で、事業が継続されるかに米側が関心を示していたが、外相は15日の会見で、継続に意欲を示した。

 来日したのは、フィリピンやグアム島で捕虜となった91~94歳の元米兵4人とその家族ら計13人。岸田外相は「日本に対するみなさんの心の和解を促進させることができれば大変うれしい」と語りかけ、元米兵の代表者は「招聘(しょうへい)を感謝する」と応じた。

 同事業は、民主党の鳩山政権だった10年から米兵元捕虜の訪日事業が始まり、毎年続いてきた。来日した元米兵たちは1週間ほど滞在し、各地の収容所跡などを訪問する予定だという。

 Foreign minister intends to continue inviting ex-U.S. POWs to Japan

THE ASAHI SHIMBUN
October 16, 2013

Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida on Oct. 15 indicated he wants to continue inviting former U.S. POWs to Japan after meeting four Americans who were captured in the Philippines and Guam during World War II.

“I will be very happy if (the program) will help promote your emotional reconciliation toward Japan,” Kishida told the former prisoners of war, who range in age from 91 to 94, in Tokyo.

Their representatives thanked the foreign minister for inviting them to Japan.

It was the first such visit since the Liberal Democratic Party returned to power in December.

The program started in 2010 under the Democratic Party of Japan administration led by Yukio Hatoyama. Former U.S. prisoners of war have since visited Japan once a year.

The U.S. side has expressed concerns that the program could be halted under the LDP government because Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is viewed as an old-style conservative and defender of Japan’s military actions.

The four former U.S. servicemen and nine others, including family members, are scheduled to stay in Japan for about a week to visit former sites of internment camps and other locations.