Ceremony for 9/11 victims at US base near Tokyo

A US Army base near Tokyo has held a memorial ceremony for the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks ahead of the 20th anniversary of the tragedy.

About 40 people attended the ceremony on Friday at Camp Zama, in Kanagawa Prefecture.

On September 11, 2001, hijackers flew four passenger planes into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, the Defense Department headquarters outside Washington DC and a field in Pennsylvania. The attacks killed 2,977 people, 24 of them Japanese.

Camp Zama's commanding officer, Colonel Christopher Tomlinson, said "We mourn the souls we lost in the attacks and pay tribute to all those patriots who sacrificed their lives in defense of our freedom."

Speaking to reporters after the ceremony, Tomlinson said "Our hearts are with those families and those Japanese citizens that also lost lives in the 9/11 attacks."

He also said "Over the past 20 years, it is demonstrated that we need to remain united and strong in our Japanese and American alliance."