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Clean up mess from WWII, isles tell U.S., Japan

The Solomon Islands want the United States and Japan to clean up some of the mess they left behind after World War II battles in the Pacific.

Prime Minister Batholomew Uluf'alu said Friday that at least 50 battleships and aircraft carriers are rotting on the sea bed near the historic battle site of Guadalcanal, harming fish, coral and other marine life.The 1943 Allied landing at Guadalcanal was the start of an island-hopping strategy that brought a strike force to Japan's doorstep at Iwo Jima and Okinawa by 1945.

Ulufa'alu said the government raised the issue with the Japanese and U.S. governments at recent U.N. meetings.

Solomon Islands, an archipelago northeast of Australia in the Coral Sea, has a population of nearly 400,000. It gained independence from Britain in 1978 but retains the queen as a titular head of state.