20 Nov 2020

Kiribati encouraging battlefield tourism

5:21 pm on 20 November 2020

The anniversary of one of the bloodiest battles of the Second World War, in then Japanese-controlled Kiribati, has been marked in the Pacific nation today.

20 November marks the 77th anniversary of the start of the US Marines invasion.

WWII eight gun emplacement at Betio on Tarawa

WWII eight gun emplacement at Betio on Tarawa Photo: supplied

To mark the occasion the Tourism Authority of Kiribati released a series of videos and personal interviews from the i-Kiribati survivors of the 1943 battles of Tarawa and Makin.

The locally produced videos share very personal stories of trauma and survival by i-Kiribati children who witnessed the atrocities of the war first hand.

The Authority's Marketing Head, Sarah Teetu, said the stories of the battles hold a significant place in Kiribati's history.

The remnants of the Second World War are still visible throughout Kiribati and the Authority wants to encourage battlefield travellers to visit.