World War 2 in the Asia-Pacific still casts many shadows. The shadows fall on the lives of Australian ex-POWs, soldiers and their families. Veterans are aged but recall horrors under Japanese Imperial Forces as fresh as yesterday. Dark, too, are the shadows cast on civilians trapped in the conflict -- innocents who suffered through starvation, forced labour and prostitution. Against this is the determination by reactionary Japanese powerbrokers to obliterate this history by rewriting school textbooks so post-war Japanese remain ignorant of their war history. This book presents the deepest and innermost thoughts drawn from some 200 interviews and responses with Australian veterans. Critically all tell of what they think of the Japanese now. This is their record in their own words. In the 60th year after the end of World War 2, wide education makes the young acutely aware of what happened in those critical war years of 1942-45. This book will appeal to teachers hungry for original materials, and their students who want to read history in the words of those who lived it. This book will appeal to veterans, whose leaders have gone in search of reconciliation to Japan.
The image of Australian youngsters trekking in the highlands of Papua New Guinea, hand in hand with their Japanese contemporaries, will appeal to all who seek to put the war behind them. Released to mark the sixtieth anniversary of the end of the War in the Pacific, this book will be sought by many a general reader anxious to celebrate the memory of our World War 2 veterans.
Ryoko Adachi has long experience as a journalist and author. As a foreign correspondent in Australia she has written for Japanese media including The Japan Times and Nichigo Press. Her weekly program Ryokos Letter From Australia was broadcast for years on Radio Australia. Andrew McKay is a veteran journalist, working as a columnist in the Canberra Press Gallery, then as a foreign correspondent for the Sydney Morning Herald in London. He worked for Murdoch publications in New York as the first Australian journalist on the New York Post and then covered North and South America for the News Ltd Bureau. Returning to Australia he became News Editor and then Victorian Editor of The Australian. He has written numerous non-fiction books and TV scripts.