Digging with his bare hands to escape the jungle tomb of his plane shot down by US forces in Guadalcanal in 1942, Japanese fighter pilot Kaname Harada understood the full horror of war. Pinned beneath the wreckage in the Solomon Islands during some of the most intense fighting of World War II, he fought to dig himself free. ‘All of my fingernails came off and I could see the bones, but I dug and dug to survive,’ he said. ‘When I got out of the plane I was very thirsty and crawled to a puddle where I drank water full of maggots and insects.’ Now just days from his 99th birthday, he and other men who fought Japan’s hopeless Pacific War worry that a country in the throes of re-invigorating its military has forgotten the true terror of conflict. Despite his advanced age, Harada regularly gives talks about his experiences as a pilot during WWII, fearful that generations of Japanese who

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