Pacific War Graves Exposed by Tides

In the Pacific, on the coasts of the Marshall Islands, several war graves have been exposed. It is currently believed that these graves were dug for Japanese soldiers of the Second World War, but the tides have unearthed their remains and washed many of them away. There is now discussion on what the fate of these war graves means on a larger scale and what, if anything, can be done about it.

There were twenty or so sets of remains that were unearthed as the result of these tides, and apparently this occurrence is not as much of a surprise to some people as might be expected. It has long been suspected that rising tides might affect coasts such as those which housed the war graves, and government officials have been discussing the issue at length. This took place on Enniburr Island, one of the smallest of the Marshall Islands. Due to suspicions that the bodies belonged to Japanese soldiers, officials dealing with the issue have represented both the Marshall Islands as well as Japan.

The cemetery affected by these tides had already long been in existence, and some of the land in which the tombs were set was not in great condition. In fact, some have argued with officials’ beliefs that climate change caused the destruction of the war graves on the basis that erosion has been an ongoing issue due to construction on the island. According to these critics of the climate change theory, a viable plan for construction ecology management would solve the problem without need for further worry, the NDTV reports.

Japan had control over many islands in the Pacific during the Second World War, which is part of the reason their soldiers are expected to be those which were inhabiting the unearthed war graves. This particular island is actually under the control of the United States at present, but that does not change the fact that Japan already has a vested interested in its future if their soldiers are buried there.

The war graves that were uncovered are likely to be investigated by the Japanese for signs as to the fate of their soldiers. This has not been made into a solid plan as of yet, however, and no one is certain how to best proceed under the current circumstances. The destruction of the war graves may actually mean nothing in terms of climate change, but this matter is also still under analysis.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE