Roy Welland (94) and Taiji Urayama (93) met for the first time in 1944, during the battle of Kohima. The Japanese army attempted to make a breakthrough to India, the most valuable colony of the British Empire. There were only several dozen meters between the positions of the enemies. The Japanese did not have enough food, and the British knew their enemies would not be taking any POWs – this made both sides very determined. In two months the losses on both sides totaled in more than 10,000 people. Welland and Urayama met again on November 12, during the British Embassy reception in Tokyo. They were joined by Mikio Kinoshita, who served on the notorious Thai-Burma railway. During the construction of this railway more than 12,000 British, Australian and Dutch POWs and more than 90,000 workers from Asian countries died from hunger and disease.

Photo: Фото: Eugene Hoshiko/ East News / AP Photo

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