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Last updateTue, 10 Dec 2019 12am







    Sunday, December 8, 2019-11:54:49P.M.






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Kuentai-USA gets another ‘no’ from HPO

TWO weeks after its team finished the first phase of a recovery mission in Achugao, Kuentai-USA’s application for the excavation of a property owned by Aqua Resort Club in Achugao was rejected, again, by the Historic Preservation Office.

Kuentai-USA expedition leader Yukari Akatsuka said they received an official answer from the HPO dated Sept. 24, 2014, rejecting their application to do field work and excavation to try and locate the remains of the still missing 16 American   soldiers who died here during World War II.

The memorandum from the HPO signed by historic preservation officer Mertie T. Kani was addressed to the Division of Environmental Quality to which Kuentai-USA submitted its application. The memo stated that Kuentai-USA’s application was not given clearance because it had been found incomplete.

“HPO rejects it until the applicant resubmits a complete application for our further review and processing,” Kani said.

Akatsuka said it was not stated what is incomplete in their application.

“We hope to hear from HPO very soon so we can start excavation again,” Akatsuka said.

The Kuentai-USA team of volunteers recovered one set of human remains along with an assortment of artifacts such as bullets, helmets, water canteens and other items at the site they excavated in Achugao early this month.

Contributed photoContributed photo

They re-buried the remains after taking photos and documentation. The remains will be identified as soon as experts from the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command based in Hawaii arrive here.

The Kuentai-USA team was only able to excavate 35 percent of the area and they hope to get back to work as soon as they can.

Akatsuka said they are getting ready to attend the burial of Pfc. Richard L. Bean, 24, of Manassas whose remains they recovered from the burial site in Achugao during their mission in July last year. Bean will be buried on Oct. 3 at the Quantico National Cemetery.

For more information about Kuentai-USA, visit