The last surviving Korean independence fighter living in Japan will return home early next week, Seoul's veterans ministry said Thursday, just days before South Korea marks the anniversary of liberation from Japan's 1910-45 colonial rule.
Oh Seong-gyu will arrive in South Korea on Sunday, accompanied by Veterans Minister Park Min-shik, after expressing his wishes to reside in his home country to the ministry following the death of his wife in 2018.
Oh will undergo a medical examination after his arrival and take part in a ceremony commemorating the 78th anniversary of Liberation Day on Tuesday.
Born in 1923, Oh took part in anti-Japanese movements in Manchuria during the colonial period and enlisted in the Korean Liberation Army based in Anhui, China.
He underwent training by the US Office of Strategic Services in 1945 before Korea's liberation with Japan's surrender in World War II.
In 1990, Oh received the National Medal of the Order of Merit for National Foundation from the South Korean government for his service.
With Oh's return, there will be eight surviving registered independence fighters in South Korea and one outside the country.
During his three-day trip to Japan from Friday, Minister Park will pay his respects at the execution site of Lee Bong-chang, an independence fighter who unsuccessfully attempted to assassinate Japanese Emperor Hirohito in 1932, in Tokyo. (Yonhap)