96-year-old Japanese WWII POW warns Russia-Ukraine is history repeating itself

Akiyoshi Chikada, a 96-year-old Japanese man who was interned in Ukraine during World War II, says history is repeating itself with the Russia-Ukraine war.
Chikada was tricked into working at an internment camp in 1945 after Soviet troops promised he would return to Japan while putting him on a freight train, according to The Mainichi.
He had to live on stale brown bread and thin soups in freezing temperatures. He also didn't get enough water to drink, let alone bathe.
In July 1946, Chikada was again told he was returning to Japan, but actually ended up in Ukraine, which was part of the Soviet Union at the time.
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He was forced back to work, on assignment to move brick and cement using a unicycle as a tool.
The 96-year-old recalls a specific time when his Ukrainian boss informed him that his father had also been captured and forced into an internment camp during the Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905).
He was treated kindly by the Japanese people, he explained to Chikada and then assured: "You will all be able to return to Japan, so hold on until then."
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Chikada recalls "feeling in his words a sense of unity sympathetic to the Japanese prisoners," and after expending whatever energies he had left to the work, Chikada finally returned to Japan in November 1948.
In the news that Moscow would forcibly relocate Ukrainians to Russia, Chikada told The Mainichi, "I think Russia is doing the same thing that it did 70 years ago."
He also added: "I wonder what kind of ending will come after they bring residents to Russia. The family of the man [who oversaw the detention center] may also have suffered a miserable fate. I want the fighting to end and for things to be peaceful.”
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The Japanese government has strongly supported Ukraine in its ongoing conflict with Russia, donating $300 million and hosting hundreds of displaced Ukrainians behind its borders.
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