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Siblings separated after WWII reunited

A 79-year-old Japanese man who remained in the Soviet Union after World War II has returned home for the first time in more than 60 years.

Yoshiteru Nakagawa and his parents spent the war years in a part of Sakhalin island controlled by Japan. After the war, his pregnant mother and a younger brother and sister were repatriated to Hokkaido but Nakagawa and his father remained in Sakhalin.

Nakagawa arrived in Japan Sunday accompanied by Toyoko Chiba, a sister who had gone to his home near the Caspian Sea to help him with the journey, Kyodo News Service reported. Her expenses were paid by a non-profit group.

A tearful Nakagawa was greeted at the arrival gate by Tomiko Orui, a sister born after his mother's return to Japan. She gave the wheelchair-bound man flowers.

At a brief news conference, Nakagawa said he never thought he would be able to return to Japan.

Chiba said her brother was imprisoned immediately after the war because Soviet authorities thought he had been in the Japanese army.

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