Mayor invites members of Japanese consulate to Chagui’an memorial next month

Every year, members of the community gather together for the Chaguian memorial in Yigo. (PNC file photo)

Yigo Mayor Rudy Matanane has invited members of the Japanese consulate to attend a memorial ceremony next month to honor the 45 men who were massacred at Chagui’an.

“I think it’s appropriate to invite them because they are very much a part of it. When that happened, it was very bitter. Right now, we try to move forward and promote peace. Because of peace, I invited him (the Japan consul) there, because he should be there,” the mayor said.

Seventy-six years ago, while thousands of Chamorros were being held at Manenngon concentration camp in Yona, 45 Chamorro men were forced to carry Japanese weapons to a Japanese command post located at Milalak, Yigo near Chagui’an.

This command post was unknown to the U.S. military sent to liberate the people of Guam from the Japanese. In order to keep their location a secret, Japanese soldiers beheaded the 45 men and became what is known today as the Chagui’an massacre.

On Aug. 8, 1944, the 21st Marine Regiment discovered the bodies of the 45 men who were beheaded with their hands tied behind their backs. The names of those 45 men are listed on a board at the memorial site.