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    Kareki Fauro Island | Western Province Solomon Islands

Location
Lat 6° 54' 0S  Long 156° 5' 60E  Kareki village is located on the eastern coast of Fauro Island in the Fauro Island Group (Fauro Islands) of Western Province in Solomon Islands. Borders Central Bay to the north.

Prewar
A large coconut palm plantation harvesting copra was established at Kareki.

Wartime History
During the Pacific War, occupied by the Japanese during early 1942 until the formal surrender of Japan on September 2, 1945.. During the war, the Japanese built a water supply that is still in use to this day. During November 1945 occupied by the Australian Army until 1946.

Kareki POW Camp (Japanese POW Camp)
During November 1945, the Australian Army 7th Infantry Battalion established a Japanese Prisoner Of War Camp (POW Camp) at Kareki on Fauro Island. After the formal surrender of Japan on September 2, 1945 the Japanese forces from Bougainville and Shortland Island Group were transported to this camp to concentrate all the Japanese Prisoner Of War (POW) in the region into one location. The Japanese POW worked as laborers on infrastructure projects on Fauro until repatriated by ships back to Japan in 1946.

Lawrence Kibule, resident of Fauro island adds:
"After the Japanese surrendered, the Australians took 28,000 Japanese to Fauro. They waited eight months for a boat to come and take them back to Japan, in two trips. Many died on Fasai, because they were sick, no medicine or weak. Often they [the Japanese] come back to collect bones that we help them to find."

Allan Dickes adds:
"If you can get to see the original Godzilla film, you will see that it opens on the Island of Fauro! Very explicitly, the camera zooms into a map, and there are the ‘savages’, amusing themselves with a complex Western-movie type Indian war dance. The caged monster watches, his hatred growing! It would be interesting to know who chose that setting, because it was on Fauro that all the Japanese POWs from the area! There were very few coconut trees left on the area they were held, which once was a large plantation; they were mostly cut down to get at the heart of palm salads! The ever kindly people of Kareki would have done what they could, but it was a full time job for them to feed themselves, once the war had forced their reversion to a completely hunter-gatherer society. Their gardens were ravished and their canoes destroyed or damaged during the war."

References
Solomon Islands Mapping Bureau - Fauro Island 1:50,000 Topographic Map

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Last Updated
February 4, 2018

 

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