MANILA, May 9 (Xinhua) -- The Philippines and Japan have officially concluded an agreement to cooperate in the repatriation of the remains of World War II Japanese soldiers in the Philippines, Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs said on Wednesday.
The agreement, called the Memorandum of Cooperation for the Recovery and Repatriation of the Remains of Japanese Soldiers, will facilitate the proper collection, handling, storage and shipment of these remains, the ministry said in a statement.
The ministry said an estimated 518,000 Japanese soldiers died in the Philippines between 1942 and 1945, when Japanese forces occupied the Philippines during World War II.
The Philippines, under former President Carlos P. Garcia, allowed Japan to undertake recovery missions in the country beginning in 1958.
Since then, the foreign ministry said the remains of roughly 100,000 soldiers have been returned to Japan.