22 April 2019
The continuing significance of Guadalcanal as a sacred burial ground and the relevance to Japanese and US relations
The fierce and prolonged pivotal WWII Battle of Guadalcanal resulted in the deaths of some 38,000 Imperial Japanese soldiers and 7,100 US forces.
Visitors to the Solomon Islands can visit the Japanese and US war memorials built to remember all those who fought in action.
Those wishing to have a comprehensive knowledge of the Guadalcanal Campaign could usefully read the book titled ‘Where the Sun Stood Still’ written by Don Richter in 1992 to coincide with the 50th Anniversary of the bloody campaign.
The comparatively recent finding of the wreckage of the Japanese Imperial Navy’s Battleship, ‘Hiel,’ sunk by US faces during World War II would have had a significant impact in Japan due to the loss of life that occurred when the ship was hit by torpedoes and repeated air strikes.
In 2015, another Imperial Japanese Navy battleship, the Musashi, was discovered on the seabed of the Sibuyan Sea in the Philippines.
The discovery of the ‘Hiel’ in Solomon’s waters will have given thought to the misery of war and significantly added to the importance of the Japanese War Memorial in Honiara.
There are a number of wrecks of Japanese war relics to be found throughout the Solomon Islands, including aircraft, field guns and tanks.
The artifacts are protected and worth visiting should Japanese visitors paying respect at the Japanese War Memorial want a closer inspection of the battle ground where lives were lost so many years ago and ancestors not forgotten.
Since those terrible and tragic years of war, the Japanese Government has assisted the Solomon Islands to develop itself from Independence in 1978.
Assistance has been given to economic development, including infrastructure, the improvement of social services, environmental conservation and in dealing with climate change.
The Japanese Government has also given importance to the Solomon Island’s efforts to provide better health care, sanitation facilities and to help with agriculture and fisheries.
Primary education has seen the Japanese Government give much attention to upgrading and improving schools, including the construction of many classrooms.