The Daily Manila Shimbun


Possible ex-Japanese detainee in Siberia found in Russia

June 6, 2017

Moscow- A man believed to be a former Japanese detainee in Siberia has been found living in Russia's Leningrad region, informed sources said Monday.

The Japanese consulate-general in St. Petersburg is confirming the identity of the man, believed to be Akio Tanaka, the sources said. According to a Russian weekly newspaper report, Tanaka was born in the northernmost Japan prefecture of Hokkaido in 1927. After graduating from school, he entered the now-defunct Japanese military before the age of 20. After being captured by Soviet troops in Manchuria, now northeastern China, at the end of World War II in 1945, he took part in forced labor for a decade in Khabarovsk in Russian Far East. When Japanese detainees in Siberia started to return to Japan, Tanaka decided to stay in the Soviet Union, believing he would be hanged or shot to death if he returned to Japan. Tanaka acquired Soviet citizenship in the 1960s. After working as a sailor in Vladivostok, he moved to Leningrad and worked at a firm. He now lives by himself on a pension. Tanaka's father operated an inn in Hokkaido. Tanaka said he wants to see how his native country has changed, according to the sources. (Jiji Press)