During the Second World War, 300 British
FEPOWs (Far East Prisoners of War) who had
been working on the Thai-Burma Railway were
sent to work in a copper mine in a place
then known as Iruka, which is now part of
Kiwa-cho. The camp in Iruka was much better
than the camps in Thailand and the FEPOWs
worked alongside Japanese miners and schoolchildren.
Unfortunately 16 of them died and the local
people made a simple grave. When I visited
their grave in 1988, I was surprised to discover
that it had been transformed into a beautiful
memorial garden. There was a large copper
cross and the soldiersˇnames were engraved
on a marble stone. I hoped that I might be
able to trace the FEPOWs who had been in
Kiwa-cho and one day bring them back.
Four years later my dream was realised. In
1991, after much difficulty, I was able to
attend the annual FEPOW conference in London.
I realised how much FEPOWs were suffering
and I felt their pain and strong hatred towards
Japanese people. I remembered the passage
in the Bible, "For God so loved the
world that He gave His only begotten Son
that whoever believes in Him should not perish
but have everlasting life."I knew that
I was being urged to work to help the healing
process of war wounds and for reconciliation.