Jack Butterworth - former Taiwan FEPOW

I was a POW in Kinkasaki, Taiwan and had never spoken to a Japanese person until I met Keiko in 1997 in Thailand. Keiko was on a FEPOW/RBL (Royal British Legion) Pilgrimage to Thailand and Singapore and I was one of the pilgrimage escorts. She was very interested in the ex-FEPOWs and made a point of speaking frankly to each of them.
Some were reluctant at first but she soon won them round with her obvious sincerity. She was sympathetic to relatives of those who lie in the War Cemeteries and to others who had come to pay their respects. You can talk frankly and openly with Keiko, as I have done on many occasions. She does not preach to you but will tell you that the Japanese people of today are not like we imagine them to be. She has taken many FEPOWs to Japan to prove this point. Keiko's target is reconciliation. Governments have tried and failed but Keiko tackles the problem at its grass roots and her gentle persuasion is achieving a measure of success.