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WW2 soldiers' bodies found washed up in Pacific

The bodies floated away from their graves in the remote Marshall Islands. Credit: Google Maps

Rising sea levels have washed the remains of at least 26 Japanese World War Two soldiers from their graves on the low-lying Marshall Islands in the Pacific, according to the nation's foreign minister.

"There are coffins and dead people being washed away from graves. It's that serious," Tony de Brum told reporters on the sidelines of UN climate change talks in Germany.

Blaming climate change, which threatens the existence of the islands that are only 2 metres (6 ft) above sea level at their highest, de Brum said: "Even the dead are affected."

"We think they are Japanese soldiers," he added.

A UN Study on Thursday said changes in Pacific winds and currents meant sea levels in the region had risen faster than the world average since the 1990s.

Story of fisherman adrift for more than a year probed

The acting secretary of foreign affairs for the Marshall Islands has said he is somewhat sceptical of fisherman Jose Salvador Albarengo's account of being adrift for more than a year after meeting him yesterday.

Albarengo told officials he and a second fisherman set sail on a shark fishing trip from Mexico - 6,200 miles away - in late December 2012 but were blown out to sea. The second fisherman died but he says he went on to survive eating a diet of raw fish and turtle blood.

Jose Salvador Albarengo was found in the Marshall Islands in the Pacific Ocean during the weekend. Credit: Getty

Gee Bing said: "It does sound like an incredible story, and I'm not sure if I believe his story. When we saw him, he was not really thin compared to other survivors in the past. I may have some doubts. Once we start communicating with where he's from, we'll be able to find out more information."

Mexican fishing boat owner Villermino Rodriguez Solis said Mr Albarengo and a companion had gone missing on November 18, 2012, which would imply the sea odyssey lasted more than 14 months.

"Here, his colleagues went out in boats to look for them. They spent four days looking for them," said Mr Villermino, who expressed surprise that Mr Albarengo had been found alive in the Marshall Islands.

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