A former soldier from Japan who was feared dead after the Second World War has turned up alive and well in Ukraine. “I want to visit my parents graves and see the cherry tree blossom in Japan again,” says Ishinosuke Uwano.
He’s about to get his wish – Mr Uwano is due to visit his country of birth for the first time in six decades today. The 83 year old was last seen living on Russia’s Sakhalin Island in 1958. After that his family lost all contact, and had him officially declared as belonging to the war dead in 2000.
Thousands of Japanese soldiers were stranded in Russia when the war ended in 1945, Mr Uwano among them. He has been living at an undisclosed address in the Ukraine since then, having started a new family.