Japanese officials announced on Monday that Russia will release its records of Japanese prisoner movements in Siberian and Mongolian labor camps after World War II, the Japan Times reported on Tuesday.
The records, which are currently kept at a Moscow archive, document the transfer of an estimated 577,000 Japanese prisoners of war, taken into custody after Japan’s surrender in 1945 to the Soviet Union.
Japanese officials from the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry are on a five-day visit to Moscow to discuss the release of the materials, the newspaper reported.
Japan estimates about 55,000 prisoners died in Soviet labor camps.
Relations between Russia and Japan have suffered for years over the disputed Kuril Islands, to which both Tokyo and Moscow claim sole ownership. The two countries never signed a formal peace treaty after World War II.