Japanese officer slashed in neck at Solomon Islands commemoration ceremony

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Japanese officer slashed in neck at Solomon Islands commemoration ceremony

SYDNEY Kyodo, a member of Japan's Maritime Self-Defense Force, suffered a minor injury on Monday at a commemoration service marking the 80th anniversary of World War II Battle of Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands capital Honiara.

The MSDF officer was slashed in the neck after he was approached by a local man and assaulted with what appeared to be a pair of scissors, according to the Japanese Embassy in the Solomon Islands.

U.S. military personnel attending the service quickly detained the assailant, who was later taken into custody by local police, according to a report from Radio New Zealand. The motive was not known.

The officer received stitches at a nearby clinic and was doing fine, the embassy said.

Senior officials from the United States, Japan, Australia and New Zealand attended the commemoration ceremony hosted by the Solomon Islands government at Bloody Ridge in Honiara.

U.S. Secretary of State Wendy Sherman and Japanese senior vice defense minister, Makoto Oniki and U.S. senior vice defense minister were in attendance. The event followed similar ceremonies held by the United States and Japan in Honiara on Sunday to commemorate the thousands of soldiers who lost their lives in the 1942 battle for the island of Guadalcanal.

The fierce battle between the US Marines and Imperial Japanese forces spanned about six months and resulted in around 22,000 deaths of Japanese personnel, many of whom died of starvation and disease. The Allied forces suffered around 1,600 deaths in the fighting, while thousands more died of disease.