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‘Death Railway’ Over River Kwai May Be Restored

United Press International

Japan is withholding support at present for a Japanese company’s proposal to rebuild the “Death Railway” running over the bridge on the River Kwai of World War II infamy, a Japanese Embassy official said Monday.

The Chiyoda Engineering Consultant Co. has talked with Thai officials about a plan to restore the line, and the full Cabinet is expected to review the plan.

Masato Kakami, first secretary of the embassy, said Japan would be inclined to support the proposal if the Thai government decided in favor of it. But he said Japanese officials “also have to consider the reaction of other countries.”

Historians say that about 16,000 Australian, British, Dutch and American prisoners of war, along with 100,000 Asian conscripts, labored on the railway during the Japanese occupation and that thousands of them died.

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Their ordeal on what became known as the “Death Railway” inspired the Academy Award-winning film, “The Bridge on the River Kwai.”


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