Victims Of Japan's Worst Air Disaster Remembered


Victims of Japan's worst air disaster remembered

A ceremony to remember the victims of Japan's worst air disaster took place on Monday, the 34th anniversary of the tragedy.

A Japan Airlines Boeing 747 jumbo jet bound for Osaka from Tokyo crashed into a mountain in Gunma Prefecture, northwest of Tokyo, on August 12, 1985. The accident left 520 people dead.

Since then, bereaved relatives and others have been remembering the victims in visits to the mountain every year. Early on Monday morning, they began climbing to the crash site. They placed flowers and lit incense sticks at the site of the accident and offered prayers at a memorial.

A ceremony to mourn the victims was held at the foot of the mountain later in the day. Participants also included local residents and JAL officials. They laid flowers at an altar and lit 520 candles -- one for each victim.

The attendees observed a moment of silence at 6:56 p.m., the time of the crash.

A challenge is how to pass memories of the tragedy on to future generations as the victims' relatives are getting old.