AUSTRALIAN EMBASSY, TOKYO
The records, which include name cards and related information, have been transferred to the Australian National Archives in Canberra.
Amongst the records of particular significance are the first complete list of Australian victims of the sinking of the Montevideo Maru on 1 July 1942 near Luzon in the Philippines.
The prison ship was carrying more than 1,000 civilians and troops from Rabaul to Hainan when it was torpedoed by the US submarine Sturgeon.
All the prisoners lost their lives but the records identifying who exactly was on the ship have never previously been sighted..
Over the coming months, the National Archives will restore and digitise the records for public access, allowing family members and historians better knowledge of Australia’s biggest disaster at sea.