Lifestyle

Wartime history visit

by
June 02, 2018

Deputy Chief of Mission minister Takashi Katae and second secretary Yuichi Takatsuka visted the Tatura Irrigation and Wartime Camps Museum on Thursday, May 31.

Tour guide John Gribben shares information with Deputy Chief of Mission minister Takashi Katae.

History was revisited at Tatura Irrigation and Wartime Camps Museum on Thursday, as representatives of the Japan Embassy learned more about Prisoner of War and Internment Camps established in the area.

Deputy Chief of Mission minister Takashi Katae and second secretary Yuichi Takatsuka took a look at the museum’s exhibits followed by a tour of Camp 4 near Rushworth, created for Japanese family groups.

‘‘We should know more about our history and not forget about the past,’’ Mr Katae said.

When Japan became an enemy of Australia and its allies in 1941, Camp 4 became a holding place for Japanese internees from Australia, Java and New Caledonia.

The camp population included numbers of children, for whom a Japanese school was established, and babies born to interned parents.

The camp was closed in August, 1946.

Mr Katae believes more people of Japanese culture should visit and understand the history of Camp 4, similar to that of the Cowra POW Camp, NSW.

The infamous Cowra breakout occurred on August 5, 1944, as more than 1000 Japanese POWs attempted to escape.

The prison escape was the largest of World War II and the bloodiest, resulting in the death of four Australian soldiers and 231 Japanese people.

This is the second visit by Japanese government representatives after Consul-General Kazuyoshi Matsunaga and his staffer Toshiki Tojo paid homage to their history late last year.

Tatura Historical Society president Steve Barnard was delighted to receive a visit from all representatives in recent times.

‘‘It is a great recognition of the museum and our collection of donations from inmates,’’ Mr Barnard said.

The tour was hosted by local experts and members of the historical society.

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