Above: Australian and Japanese naval delegations at the Australian War Cemetery.
THE success of the recent joint visit to Cowra by the chiefs of the Australian and Japanese navies shows the central importance that the town’s history holds for both countries, says Mayor of Cowra, Bill West.
The naval chiefs visited the town for a special wreath-laying ceremony at the Australian and Japanese War Cemeteries. They also visited the former Cowra Prisoner of War Camp.
Both chiefs were impressed by Cowra’s role in reconciliation and respect almost 70 years after the famous Cowra Breakout of Japanese prisoners.
“From this tragic event, the two countries have formed a special bond and this visit only reinforces that relationship,” said Cr West.
Vice-Admiral Ray Griggs of the Royal Australian Navy and Admiral Masahiko Sugimoto of the Japanese Maritime Self-Defence Force finished the visit with lunch at the Japanese Garden, hosted by Cr West.
“The group was highly impressed with the way in which the war graves have become a focus for peace and reconciliation between Australia and Japan,” Cr West added.
The chiefs were accompanied by their wives.