Lorna Johnston has become the first Australian former prisoner of war to receive an official apology from the Japanese government.
Japan has voiced "deep remorse and a heartfelt apology" to a 96 year old former nurse and other Australians it once held as prisoners of war.
A group of Australians visited Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba on Thursday for a face-to-face apology for mistreatment they received during WWII.
The foreign ministry in Tokyo said Lorna Johnston is the first Australian female former PoW to receive an apology from the government as part of its reconciliation program.
Johnston, a resident of New Zealand for the past 60 years, is a 96-year-old Australian who was held as a prisoner of war for three years from 1942.
She is reportedly the only survivor of a group of 76 Australian PoW nurses taken captive from Papua New Guinea and imprisoned in Yokohama, Japan.
Meeting with the group on November 29, Gemba said their visit on a Japanese government-hosted friendship program would contribute to a process of reconciliation.
"Minister Gemba expressed deep remorse and a heartfelt apology anew... for causing tremendous damage and suffering," the ministry said in an issued statement.
Japan has been inviting former captives from Britain, the Netherlands and other countries for several years. Invitation of American and Australian former PoWs began last year.
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