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Japanese ship stirs memories amid Darwin cere -

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Reporter: Cathy Harper

ELEANOR HALL: A Japanese research ship that's steamed into Darwin Harbour for re-fuelling and fresh
supplies hasn't timed its visit well. Today locals are holding their annual ceremony at the
harbour-front to mark the anniversary of the first Japanese air raid on Darwin in World War II.

Some of the relatives of the 48 dock workers who died in the raids are among those who've gathered
for today's wreath-laying ceremony.

As that ceremony began I spoke to The World Today's Cathy Harper at Darwin Harbour.

CATHY HARPER: It's an annual event. This is the 67th commemoration of the bombing of Darwin. About
a thousand people have gathered on the Esplanade today here for the official ceremony.

That's included a rather dramatic re-enactment of the bombing. It started with an air raid siren.
There's been cannons discharged, a lot of gunfire and a flyover by FA18s. And you can just imagine
somewhat what it would have been like. It would have been a day like this, hot and rather steamy,
at about this time that the Japanese bombers would have flown over right here.

ELEANOR HALL: And I understand that there's a Japanese research vessel in the harbour today. How
have people there reacted to that?

CATHY HARPER: That's caused some concern for the maritime union. There's going to be a ceremony
near there later for relatives of dock workers who were killed in the bombing and the union is
concerned that that will upset the relatives. And this is what the union's Andrew Burford had to

ANDREW BURFORD: My main concern is for the poor people that lost their relatives and just looking
at this boat right in front of us. It's tied up alongside right where we are.

CATHY HARPER: You feel that it's insensitive for the Japanese ship to be there today?

ANDREW BURFORD: Well just going by the phone calls that I've received from different people that
have had relatives that were killed in it, they're not very happy about it at all, which I can
understand as well.

CATHY HARPER: Did the people that you've spoken to explain what it was that they found upsetting
about the ship?

ANDREW BURFORD: Well it's a bit insensitive what they're doing with it, with the Japanese being
here for our ceremony. But you know there's not much we can do about it at the moment if there's
nowhere they can put the boat.

CATHY HARPER: The port corporation has pointed out that Australia has been a trading partner of
Japan for some time. Ships always come into Darwin Harbour. And this is not a warship is it? It's a
research ship.

ANDREW BURFORD: No, it's not, not at all. I think it's just one of those incidents that's happened
and there's not much we can really do about it. As we all know we've all moved on from that but
it's a bit upsetting that it's here at this day.

ELEANOR HALL: Andrew Burford is the maritime union's secretary in the Northern Territory. He was
speaking to Cathy Harper in Darwin.