Emperor, Empress Meet Descendants of Japanese Soldiers in Indonesia

Pool photo / The Yomiuri Shimbun
The Emperor and Empress speak with descendants of former Japanese soldiers who stayed in Indonesia after World War II on Monday in Jakarta.

Jakarta (Jiji Press) – Japanese Emperor and Empress met with 61 Indonesians with ties with Japan, including four descendants of soldiers of the now-defunct Imperial Japanese Army, in Jakarta on Monday.

Heru Santoso Eto is one of the descendants of the Japanese soldiers who stayed in Indonesia after the end of the Pacific War and fought in the war for the Southeast Asian country’s independence from the Netherlands.

The 63-year-old head of Yayasan Warga Persahabatan, a mutual-aid group for such descendants, told the Emperor that his father had a hard time without a family register. The Emperor responded kindly, according to Heru.

In his meeting with Indonesian President Joko Widodo at the Bogor Palace Monday, the Emperor thanked support from Indonesia following a massive earthquake and tsunami in Japan in 2011, according to the Japanese Imperial Household Agency.

The Emperor also sent condolences to the victims of an earthquake off the coast of Sumatra in 2004. He said Japan and Indonesia are both susceptible to damage from natural disasters.

The Emperor also showed gratitude to the president for his visit to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum on the sidelines of the Group of Seven summit in the atomic-bombed western Japan city last month.

The president appreciated Japan’s support for the construction of railroad and drainage pump facilities in Indonesia. The Emperor said it is important for the two sides to learn from each other, according to the agency.