Memorial held in Tokyo day before 78th anniversary of World War Two US air raids

A World War Two memorial event was held in Tokyo on Thursday, the day before the 78th anniversary of major US air raids that killed an estimated 100,000 civilians.

The hours of predawn raids by a swarm of US B-29 bombers caused catastrophic damage in eastern areas of the city on March 10, 1945.

A memorial event held at the Center of the Tokyo Raids and War Damage, a private-sector museum, was attended by relatives of victims and other people.

The participants took turns reading out the names of 1,928 of the victims whose surviving families have given consent to the recitation of their names, or whose names have already been inscribed in memorial monuments.

A 77-year-old participant said that she read out the names by trying to imagine what kind of life each of them might have had. She said she felt much closer to each of them as a result.

A high school student said that she learned at school about the number of people killed in the air raids, but reading out the names of the victims made her feel much more strongly that there should never again be another war.