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Booming tourist paradise Peleliu still bears scars of Pacific War

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After losing a series of battles on the islands in the South Pacific, the Imperial Japanese Army in 1944 faced a full-scale attack by the U.S. military on the island of Peleliu.

Under orders from imperial headquarters, the roughly 10,000-strong Japanese garrison constructed hundreds of heavily fortified bunkers and caves, determined to fight to the death.

The Battle of Peleliu, as this campaign is called, was fought from September to November 1944, during the Mariana and Palau Campaign of World War II.

According to war history researcher Masao Hiratsuka, 82, the U.S. military poured oil into the caves where the Japanese troops were holed up and set it on fire, or buried them alive.

After withstanding the siege for 10........

© The Asahi Shimbun