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TOKYO – A Japanese city's plan to seek UNESCO recognition for its collection of documents related to its role as a launching base for "kamikaze" suicide attacks in the desperate last months of World War II is raising questions over how such memories should be preserved.
Kampei Shimoide, mayor of Minamikyushu, and others associated with the project said Wednesday they hope that registering the document collection as a UNESCO "Memory of the World" will help ensure it will convey the horrors and suffering of the war to future generations.
Some in Japan worry that the Chiran Peace Museum, where the collection is kept, could instead be used to glorify the pilots, who took off on their bombing raids expecting to die as their fighters carried only enough fuel to reach their targets.