US archive: Class-A war criminal ashes 'scattered'

A Japanese scholar has found official US military archives showing details that the ashes of Japan's seven class-A war criminals were "scattered" in the Pacific Ocean.

The seven war criminals include former prime ministers Tojo Hideki and Hirota Koki. They were executed on December 23, 1948, following their death sentence by the international military tribunal after World War Two.

Associate professor Takazawa Hiroaki at Nihon University College of Industrial Technology found the declassified documents at the US National Archives and Records Administration.

One of the documents dated January 4, 1949, was written by US Army major Luther Frierson.

The archive says a truck carrying the bodies departed from Tokyo's Sugamo Prison, and they were cremated in Yokohama. It says the remains placed in separate urns were put aboard a plane at the Eighth Army Liaison Air Strip.

Frierson wrote, "We proceeded to a point approximately 30 miles over the Pacific Ocean east of Yokohama where I personally scattered the cremated remains over a wide area."

Takazawa says there have been no official documents detailing that the ashes were dispersed, and it is of great significance that what had merely been a speculation in the past has now been proven to be a fact through official records.