Ambassador’s participation in the ceremony commemorating the Cowra Breakout

On the 5th of August, Ambassador and Mrs Kusaka participated in the commemoration ceremony marking the 74th anniversary of the Cowra Breakout. The Breakout itself resulted in the deaths of 231 Japanese and 4 Australian soldiers.  It was in memory of the fallen that Ambassador and Mrs Kusaka, together with Cowra City Mayor Bill West, laid wreaths at the Cowra War Cemetery and the Cowra Japanese War Cemetery.

The graves of the Japanese victims of this incident were left untouched for some time after the war. However in 1964 the Australian government, together with the City of Cowra, the RSL, and local residents, and with the co-operation of the Embassy of Japan, made arrangements to inter the remains of a total of 522 Japanese soldiers collected from across Australia in the Cowra Japanese War Cemetery.

At present, the Cowra Japanese Garden and Sakura Avenue are maintained through the tireless efforts of the residents of Cowra, and every year in September the ‘Sakura Matsuri Festival’ draws a great many visitors from both within and outside Australia.  The City of Cowra is thus symbolic of the friendly relationship that exists between Japan and Australia.    

Next year marks the 75th anniversary of the Breakout, and a large number of related events are planned to take place in Cowra. The Embassy of Japan, along with the City of Cowra, will work with relevant stakeholders to ensure the success of those events.

​      Ambassador and Mrs Kusaka with Mayor Bill West

​        Cowra Japanese War Cemetery memorial stone

​       Ambassador Kusaka's interview with local media

​        Ambassador's speech following the ceremony

​                       Cowra Japanese Garden

​                       Ceremony participants