MOUNTAIN HOME, Ark. – The Japanese government has invited a former World War II prisoner of war from Arkansas to visit the country.
The Baxter Bulletin reports that 93-year-old Robert Lents, of Mountain Home, was invited as part of the Japanese/POW Friendship Program, which aims to encourage reconciliation.
Lents was one of 62 crewmen assigned to the USS Perch at port in the Philippines when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. All the crew members were captured and spent nearly 1,300 days at a prison camp in what is now Indonesia.
Lents says he plans to make the trip next year, though he thinks the gesture is "a little late."
Lents will meet with Japanese government officials, American Embassy representatives and share his experience with students.