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Across the world, at ceremonies commemorating the end of World War II, former foes have come together to grieve and forgive. Not Sunday at the River Kwai.

Three Australians held captive by the Japanese returned 50 years later to the famous bridge built by prisoners of war and condemned their former captors.Cyril Scriven, 72, said if he saw a Japanese veteran, he would throw him off the bridge.

"There is no way they could ever apologize for their crimes," he said.

On Tuesday, former POWs and Japanese veterans embraced at the bridge to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Japan's surrender. Ambassadors from 17 countries attended.

Scriven, his brother Leon Scriven, and Lloyd Armstrong boycotted the ceremony and held their own on Sunday.

The bridge was built as part of the River Kwai rail line, which the Japanese planned to use to invade Burma and India. More than 16,000 Allied prisoners and 100,000 Asian laborers died while hacking the path of the line.

The bridge was made famous by the 1957 Oscar-winning movie with Alec Guinness and William Holden.