Victims Remembered 61 Years after U.S. Fighter Crash in Okinawa
Uruma, Okinawa Pref., June 30 (Jiji Press)--A memorial service was held on Tuesday for 18 civilians killed in the crash 61 years ago of a U.S. fighter jet into an elementary school in Uruma in the southernmost Japan prefecture of Okinawa.
The ceremony took place at Miyamori Elementary School, where the aircraft from the U.S. military's Kadena Air Base in Okinawa crashed on June 30, 1959. Bereaved relatives and other participants offered silent prayers for the victims, including students at the municipally run school.
The ceremony was smaller than in previous years, due to the COVID-19 epidemic.
The event was hosted by Ishikawa Miyamori 630 Kai, a nonprofit organization comprising bereaved relatives and students of the school at the time of the crash.
"The issue regarding military bases has continued since the Battle of Okinawa" near the end of World War II, said Masaharu Kudaka, the 72-year-old head of the NPO. "I want to continue sending a message of peace from Miyamori."
[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]