Japanese Victims of U.S. Torpedo Attack Remembered 76 Years On
Naha, Okinawa Pref., Aug. 22 (Jiji Press)--A memorial service was held Saturday to mark the 76th anniversary of the tragedy of the Tsushima Maru evacuation ship, in which nearly 1,500 people, including schoolchildren, were killed in a U.S. torpedo attack during World War II.
Participants prayed for the victims at the "Kozakura no To" monument in Naha, the capital of the southernmost Japan prefecture of Okinawa. This year's service had a limited number of participants amid the spread of the novel coronavirus.
After the participants observed a moment of silence, Masakatsu Takara, 80, a survivor of the attack and head of a group working to prevent the tragedy from being forgotten, said in a speech, "While the memorial service was held under irregular circumstances this year, we'd like to send our prayers to the victims."
Noting that Tsushima-maru Memorial Museum in Naha had faced a plunge in the number of visitors after it reopened following a temporary closure due to the epidemic, Takara said, "We must keep open Japan's only war memorial museum focusing on children." The museum is now shut again because of the Okinawa prefectural government's state of emergency declaration over the coronavirus
On the night of Aug. 22, 1944, the Tsushima Maru sank off Akuseki Island in Kagoshima Prefecture, southwestern Japan, due to the torpedo attack from a U.S. submarine, after leaving a port in Naha for Nagasaki, southwestern Japan, on the previous day.
[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]