1985 JAL crash victims remembered

The Yomiuri Shimbun
A climber to the Osutaka ridge in Ueno, Gunma Prefecture, on Friday offers prayers for the victims of the 1985 crash of a Japan Airlines jumbo jet.

UENO, Gunma — Friday marked the 37th anniversary of the Japan Airlines jumbo jet crash at Mt. Osutaka in Ueno, Gunma Prefecture, in which 520 passengers and crew died.

Family members of the victims climbed to the crash site on the Osutaka ridge, about 1,500 meters above sea level, where the cenotaph for the deceased is situated.

Saitama resident Yumiko Kobayashi, 63, who lost her younger brother Hiroyuki Kato, then 21, in the crash, was among those who took part in the memorial hike.

“Every time I come here, I remember my brother’s smiling face,” said Kobayashi. “It makes me sad, but it also gives me the energy to keep me going.”

A memorial ceremony was to be held in the evening in a garden at the foot of the mountain. Participation will be limited for the third consecutive year due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.