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Japanese writer who documented WWII Tokyo firebombing dies

TOKYO (AP) — Katsumoto Saotome, a Japanese writer who gathered the accounts of survivors of the U.S. firebombing of Tokyo in World War II to raise awareness of the massive civilian deaths and the importance of peace, has died. He was 90.

One of his publishers, Iwanami Shoten, confirmed his death. He died on Tuesday of organ failure related to old age at a hospital in Saitama, north of Tokyo, NHK public television reported.

A native of Tokyo, Saotome was 12 when he narrowly survived the firebombing of the city on March 10, 1945, that turned the densely populated downtown area of the Japanese capital into an inferno. “I ran for my life as countless cluster bombs rained down,” Saotome recalled in one of his storytelling events.

More than 105,000 people are estimated to have died…


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