Japan's emperor and empress pray for WWII air raid victims

Japan's emperor and empress pray for WWII air raid victims
The Emperor and Empress offer flowers at the Tokyo Memorial Hall in Sumida Ward, Tokyo, on Tuesday.

The Emperor and Empress visited a memorial site in Tokyo on Tuesday to commemorate the victims of air raids during World War II.

The Imperial couple offered white chrysanthemums at Tokyo Memorial Hall's altar in Sumida Ward, Tokyo, and bowed deeply as they prayed for peace. The remains of about 105,000 people who died in the Great Tokyo Air Raid on March 10, 1945, and from other causes are kept there.

The Emperor and Empress have been touring key memorial sites since last year to observe the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, including stops in Okinawa, Nagasaki and Hiroshima prefectures as well as a trip to Palau last month. Their latest visit comes exactly 70 years after the Great Yamanote Air Raid that devastated central Tokyo.

They last visited the memorial hall 20 years ago in 1995 when they were observing the 50th anniversary of the end of World War II. In that year, they had also visited the prefectures of Nagasaki, Hiroshima and Okinawa.

"We must commemorate the countless people that gave their lives for the peace we have today, and continue to wish for peace," the Emperor and Empress had said at the time.

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