Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FRANCE IN FOCUS

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Read more

FOCUS

Lifting the veil over China's air pollution

Read more

ENCORE!

Tango Takeover in Paris

Read more

WEB NEWS

Calls for ISIS media blackout after execution of James Foley

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Steely resolve of reporters exploited by pared-down employers'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

US judge calls Argentina bond swap offer illegal

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Cécile Duflot ruffles some feathers

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Media accused of pro-protester bias in Ferguson

Read more

DEBATE

The Murderous Lure of Jihad: Tackling ISIS and its Worldwide Recruitment (part 2)

Read more

  • US demands Russia withdraw aid convoy from Ukraine

    Read more

  • Besieged by problems, Hollande faces unhappy return from summer holidays

    Read more

  • Central African Republic announces coalition cabinet

    Read more

  • August 22, 1914: The bloodiest day in French military history

    Read more

  • Gunmen kill scores in Iraqi Sunni mosque attack

    Read more

  • Hamas publicly executes "informers"

    Read more

  • French firebrand leftist to quit party presidency, but not politics

    Read more

  • Fear of Ebola sky-high among Air France workers

    Read more

  • US says Islamic State threat 'beyond anything we've seen'

    Read more

  • Malaysia mourns as remains of MH17 victims arrive home

    Read more

  • Turkish Foreign Minister Davutoglu set to be Erdogan's new PM

    Read more

  • Hollande is ‘nobody’s president’ says former French minister

    Read more

  • Two US Ebola patients leave hospital ‘virus-free’

    Read more

  • US reaches historic $16.7bn settlement with Bank of America

    Read more

  • Interactive: Relive the Liberation of Paris in WWII

    Read more

Waves unearth remains of 'WWII Japan soldiers' in Pacific

AFP

The skeletal remains of Japanese soldiers were found as storm surges, such as this pictured at Ejit Island in Majuro Atoll, Marshall Islands on March 3, 2014, erode the landThe skeletal remains of Japanese soldiers were found as storm surges, such as this pictured at Ejit Island in Majuro Atoll, Marshall Islands on March 3, 2014, erode the land

The skeletal remains of Japanese soldiers were found as storm surges, such as this pictured at Ejit Island in Majuro Atoll, Marshall Islands on March 3, 2014, erode the landThe skeletal remains of Japanese soldiers were found as storm surges, such as this pictured at Ejit Island in Majuro Atoll, Marshall Islands on March 3, 2014, erode the land

The skeletal remains of what are believed to be Japanese soldiers have been exposed on a remote Pacific island where waves have eroded the sea shore, a Japanese government official said Monday.

The bodies of around 20 men have emerged from the earth at a small coastal cemetery because of the action of the ocean on the Marshall Islands, a place scientists have long warned is vulnerable to rising sea levels caused by climate change.

"The government of the Marshall Islands has informed us that remains of about 20 human bodies have been exposed on the seashore of Enniburr island," said a Japanese official, referring to one of the small islands that forms part of the Pacific nation.

"The remains, believed to be those of Japanese soldiers, surfaced after waves eroded a cemetery built on the seashore, according to the Marshall Islands government," he said.

The Marshall Islands, like other Pacific island nations, are increasingly being threatened by rising sea levels, which have left previously safe parts of the shore at risk from erosion.

"If they are remains of Japanese soldiers, it would be a rare case of waves eroding the seashore to expose them," the official added.

Japan has for decades been trying to retrieve the remains of millions of Japanese nationals -- including soldiers -- scattered throughout the Asia-Pacific, swathes of which were controlled by the Japanese military until the later years of World War II.

Japan controlled the Marshall Islands from 1914 until the final stages of the war, when they were taken by the United States.

The island country, made of more than two dozen atolls, became independent in 1986, but part of it -- Kwajalein Atoll, where Enniburr island also sits -- remains under the control of the US military, the Japanese official said.

"Japan will probably send a research team for the exposed human remains, but no concrete plan has been made yet since it is under the management of the US military," he said.

Date created : 2014-06-09