This is coolbert:
Very good program on public broadcast television this afternoon.
Elderly Japanese - - either participants - - or the children of participants in what was called "The Manchurian Youth Corps", making pilgrimage in honor of those that went before them.
Japanese teenagers and from all appearances even pre-teens, during World War Two [WW2] under contract and sent "overseas" to Japanese occupied Manchuria [Manchukuo], organized into a quasi-military organization called again "The Manchurian Youth Corps". Laborers, farm workers, colonists, military "men" all rolled into one.
Teens and children from impecunious Japanese farm and peasant families, that youth employed at farm and construction labor - - persons desiring to become gentlemen landowners "in time". Hard and rigorous toiling under military conditions, and all this for youth of less than eighteen year!
"The Role of The Manchurian Youth Corps, 1934-1945"
"The training centres were very much like army camps, with rows of barracks, barbed wire, and sentry boxes. The life of the boys in the camps also resembled military service: They were issued rifles, practiced early-morning calisthenics, and were subject to a twice-daily roll call. Days were normally spent in the fields doing farm work, though some time was also devoted to academic study of high-school-level subjects”.
NOT merely like a military camp, for all practical purposes A military cap, the youth wearing standard military uniforms, comporting themselves according to military discipline, issued standard weaponry, etc. A military camp!
With the declaration of war by the Soviet Union in 1945, the precipitous and rapid advance of Soviet forces , those "units" of the Manchurian Youth Corps attempting to march to safety, but finding their line of retreat cut-off, escape not possible, MOST succumbing to conditions of hunger, cold, deprivation, exhaustion, etc.
ONLY a very pitiful and small remnant of the Corps eventually repatriated to Japan.
That Japanese government ONLY ONE DAY PRIOR TO SURRENDER , TELLING THOSE JAPANESE MANCHURIAN COLONISTS TO REMAIN IN PLACE!! That Japanese government even up to the last moment seeking a negotiated settlement, the colonists being able to "stay", flight or repatriation to Japan not a consideration!
Even in the aftermath of the dropping of the two atomic bombs, and the advance of the Soviet forces in Manchuria, the Japanese government was not even then not in total awareness of the true situation, NOT "playing with a full deck"?