BURIAL

The day before we sailed home, I met a Japanese naval officer who had been most helpful to us in establishing liaison. Without such exceptional cooperation, the early days of our occupation would have been much more difficult.

I asked him a gloomy question. "Where are all the dead buried?"

"Those who could be identified are probably buried in the family plot, some temporarily elsewhere. Those who couldn't be " he paused and pointed north.

I looked in that direction but said I didn't understand.

He said, "You've been using that jeep of yours to go to Tokyo."

I nodded in agreement.

"Did you ever get close to Tokyo Bay on one of those visits?" he asked.

"No," I answered.

"Well, if you had, your question would be answered. Ninety thousand dead required re-burial. As rebuilding gets underway, the rubble being cleared will be trucked to the canals adjoining Tokyo Bay which will serve as landfill."

"And the dead?" I asked.

"They'll be part of the landfill."