SINGAPORE - The casualties of World War II were honoured at Kranji War Cemetery on Wednesday (Feb 15), the 75th anniversary of the fall of Singapore.
In a solemn ceremony attended by dignitaries, diplomats, and military officials and veterans, a bell of remembrance was rung five times - once for every year that the war raged in the Pacific.
Under an overcast sky from which a slight drizzle fell at times, Japanese Ambassador to Singapore Kenji Shinoda was one of the first VIPs to lay a wreath of poppies - which traditionally symbolise blood shed on the battlefield.
This is the first time Japan is working with former Allied countries, including Singapore, to organise a World War II commemoration ceremony here.
Three World War II survivors were the last to lay their wreaths near the Singapore Memorial, inscribed with the name of more than 24,000 soldiers and airmen who died during the war in Malaya and Indonesia and have no known grave.
Ms Olga Henderson, 84, and Mrs Vilma Howe, 88, who were imprisoned at Changi as children, walked hand in hand up to the memorial.
Beside them, Captain Ho Weng Toh, who flew 18 bombing missions over Japan-occupied China, wore his pilot wings on his blazer..