Victims Remembered 77 Years after Battle of Okinawa
Itoman, Okinawa Pref., June 23 (Jiji Press)--A memorial ceremony was held in Okinawa Prefecture on Thursday to mourn for about 200,000 people, including civilians, who died in a fierce ground battle fought in the southernmost Japan prefecture 77 years ago toward the end of World War II.
Participants to the ceremony, held at a peace memorial park in the city of Itoman, the last battlefield of the Battle of Okinawa, observed a minute of silence at noon.
The participants included Prime Minister Fumio Kishida. Guests from outside the prefecture were invited to the annual ceremony after two years of absence due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In his peace declaration delivered at the ceremony, Okinawa Governor Denny Tamaki vowed to "make full efforts to make Okinawa a peaceful and prosperous place in which all residents can feel happiness."
He also said the prefectural government "will strongly call for the consolidation and reduction of U.S. military bases in Okinawa, a drastic review of the Japan-U.S. status of forces agreement and the cancellation of a plan to build a new military base in Henoko."
[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]