Published: Friday 28 March 2008 09:07 UTC
Last updated: Friday 28 March 2008 09:07 UTC
Osaka - A Japanese court has ruled that soldiers in the Second World War were in part responsible for the mass suicide on the island of Okinawa.
The case was brought by a former soldier against Nobel Literature laureate Kenzaburo Oë. In an essay, the writer had alleged that Japanese troops ordered the islanders to kill themselves rather than surrender to United States forces.
The issue is highly sensitive in Japan where passages mentioning the forced suicide were scrapped from school books only last year. It is still not known just how many people killed themselves, but some put the number at about 1,000.