A few weeks ago the Yomiuri News on-line reported the following:
On the 30th (April) the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare newly published a register of 10,723 Japanese detainees who died at camps established by the Soviet Union after the Second World War.
Among the internment death outside Siberia such as in the present
North Korea and South Sakhalin (present Sakhalin) was 2,130 people. Up to now death registers for
locations outside Siberia had not been
published. As it was the 70th year after the War, in order to
advance information to families of the deceased, the Ministry of Health, Labor
and Welfare decided to publish all material in possession.
The register was gathered by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare based on the death registers announced by the
National Military Archives and the Department of Defense. The name in katakana,
the day of dead and the burying ground were made clear. The kanji name and home
town were also written for about 2,660 people whose background could be specifically
verified with the material of the Japanese side.
By area, the death during
Siberia detention (including
Nakhodka etc. coastal regions) was 8,593 people. The remaining 2,130 people
were outside Siberia. For the breakdown▽ Kounan area at Korean Peninsula north (present
North Korea) 1,853 people, Motoyama area 11 people▽ China Dalian 178 people▽ southern Sakhalin Kurile Islands 88 people.
For the most part, the register was made based on detention location’s hospitals and the detention camps, and also the "labor battalion" etc. groups formed for the purpose of forced labor. It was revealed by this publication that among deaths at southern Sakhalin Kurile Islands more than 30 people belonged to a labor battalion. A researcher conversant with the detention pointed out that "it was in line with the belief that there was forced labor outside
However, there were people who died during detainment did not have a name in the register. The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare thought that not all material of the Russian side could be acquired. The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare thought that there were cases that a person was registered for more than once, and would advance a close checking on that.
Regarding the investigation on death during detention, the old Ministry of Health and Welfare formally started it by taking the opportunity of receiving the death record of Siberia (for about 37,000 people) offered by President Gorbachev in those days when he visited
The principle was to publish them when the identities were confirmed. Although
the death register outside Siberia was obtained only after 2000, they did not give priority
to publish the investigation regarding Japan Siberia.
So these documents show that over ten thousand Japanese had died in the Soviet labor camps etc. after 1945.