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Thursday, November 21, 2019, 13:30 - 14:30


Rex Ziak, Co-founder and President, OBON SOCIETY

Keiko Ziak, Co-founder and Board Member, OBON SOCIETY

Jarat Chopra, International lawyer

Language: The speech and Q & A will be in English interpretation.

In battlefields across Asia during World War 2, items belonging to deceased Japanese troops were often taken by Allied soldiers as souvenirs. The items included rifles, pistols, swords, helmets and even letters and family photographs. Later this month, several of these items will finally be returned to their rightful owners.

The non-profit group behind the returns is the Obon Society, which says it has worked "practically invisibly" for over a decade healing the lingering grief of the war. Obon has created a network of workers and scholars who receive personal items taken from Japanese soldiers on the battlefield, then search for surviving family members.

On November 24th, Obon Society will return a photo album of a soldier who fell in The Philippines to his family in Kyoto. They are also bringing home hinomaru flags to other families. Among those waiting for the album are the soldier's surviving brothers and sister. The album is the only trace of the soldier to return home to his family.

Planning for the return ceremony has been underway for weeks. Local dignitaries and community leaders and a large number of local community members are expected to turn out for the return. Speakers will explain the background to such stories and the reconciliation they help achieve


Doors open for TV crews only at 12:45, all others at 13:00. Please reserve in advance, 3211-3161 or on the website (still & TV cameras inclusive). Reservations and cancellations are not complete without confirmation. Livestreaming of press conferences are available on our website(

*Due to space restrictions, please note there will be a limited number of reservations to attend. FCCJ members, including TV cameras, will have priority for the reservation and seating/setting positions and one TV camera for affiliate networks.

Professional Activities Committee

Nov 21 19 PC Healing the Wounds of War One Family Heirloom at a Time by Rex Ziak Keiko Ziak and Jarat Chopra010


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