50 Years On: Many Okinawa Medals Undistributed to Kids


Itoman, Okinawa Pref., April 19 (Jiji Press)--Many of the medals created to mark Okinawa's 1972 return to Japan were not distributed to children as planned, reflecting the mixed feelings of local residents.

In April 1972, the government minted some 200,000 bronze medals with drawings of the country's national flag and the Shureimon gate of Shuri Castle, a major tourist spot in Okinawa Prefecture, southernmost Japan. The message on the medals reads, "Congratulations on the return to the homeland."

The commemorative medals were supposed to be handed to elementary and junior high school children, but many of them were left undistributed.

According to the secretariat of the prefectural board of education, some 2,000 commemorative medals were kept at education training facilities and elsewhere as of March 2014. The medals had been given as prizes for participation in recreational activities.

A facility in the Okinawa city of Itoman had 80 medals enclosed in sheets as of March 22 this year.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press