October 7, 2022

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — A Japanese sailor was attacked Monday in the Solomon Islands during a World War II memorial service also attended by U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman.

Radio New Zealand reported the victim was a member of a Japanese navy media team and was stabbed in the neck with a pair of scissors, suffering minor injuries.

The Solomon Islands government hosted the dawn at Bloody Ridge as part of the celebrations to mark the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Guadalcanal.

Radio New Zealand spoke to doctors who said the sailor would need stitches but was doing well. Bloody Ridge Community Chief Wesley Ramo said the suspect was from a neighboring community, was under the influence and mentally unstable.

The ceremony was also attended by Makoto Oniki, Minister of Defense of Japan, and Penny Henare, Minister of Defense of New Zealand.

The suspect reportedly knocked the sailor to the ground during the attack before locals and US military personnel intervened and arrested him. The police then took him away and the ceremony continued after a short break.

Commemorations are being held over three days in the Solomon Islands to mark the anniversary of the battle. Bloody Ridge is a small hill where in September 1942, US Marines held off a Japanese force attacking a military airfield.

Sherman is part of a high-profile diplomatic delegation sent by the US to the Solomons, including US Ambassador to Australia Caroline Kennedy.

The trip has personal interest for Sherman and Kennedy, whose fathers fought there during World War II.

Kennedy met Sunday with the children of two Solomons men who, during the war, helped rescue her father, the late President John F. Kennedy, after his boat was rammed and sunk by a Japanese destroyer.

In a touching moment, Kennedy gave the children a copy of the coconut husk her father had used to write a message asking for help, news agency Stuff reported.

The trip comes after the US and several Pacific nations expressed deep concern about a security pact the Solomons signed with China in April, which many fear could lead to a military buildup in the region.

As part of her trip, Sherman has also visited the Pacific nations of Samoa and Tonga and plans to visit Australia and New Zealand.

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.