Emperor, Empress Lay Flowers for War Dead in Okinawa
Itoman, Okinawa Pref., Oct. 22 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako on Saturday visited the National War Dead Peace Mausoleum in Itoman, Okinawa Prefecture, to lay flowers and pray for over 200,000 victims of the Battle of Okinawa.
After arriving in the southernmost prefecture on the day, the Emperor and the Empress first headed to the southern part of the main island of Okinawa, including Itoman, as Emperor Emeritus Akihito and Empress Emerita Michiko used to do.
The southern part was the last battlefield in the Battle of Okinawa, fierce ground fighting that took place in the final stage of World War II.
At the mausoleum in a prefectural park, where the ashes of about 180,000 victims are laid to rest, the couple offered white lilies and bowed deeply.
The Emperor and the Empress then headed toward 19 people, including bereaved relatives, who were watching the couple, offered words of comfort and held conversations with them.
[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]