after the capitulation of Japan in World War II, the Soviet Union took around half a million Japanese POWs captive, mostly from Manchuria, North Korea and Sarkhalin. they were sent to forced labour camps in Siberia.
although some were released as early as 1946, it took until 1953 for the final POWs to be repatriated to Japan.
eight years in a gulag in Siberia, huh? ouch..