Jun 23 2013
By: MJB2348765 Fender Bender 3995 posts

Okinawa marks 68th anniversary of fierce battle

0 replies 73 views Edited Jun 23, 2013



Japan's southernmost prefecture of Okinawa is observing the 68th anniversary of the end of ground battles in the closing days of World War Two.

About 5,800 people, including relatives of war dead, attended a memorial ceremony on Sunday at Peace Memorial Park in Itoman, site of the last big battle.

The participants observed a minute of silence at the stroke of noon.

In his peace declaration, Okinawa Governor Hirokazu Nakaima said people in the prefecture lost many precious lives in the war and bore great pain that will last for a lifetime.

Nakaima added that the prefecture is still bearing the great burden of hosting many US military bases.

Nakaima urged the governments of Japan and the United States to move the US Marine Corps Futenma Air Station out of Okinawa as quickly as possible, and to review the Japan-US status of forces agreement.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe expressed his condolences for the victims.

Abe said the concentration of US military facilities is placing a heavy burden on Okinawa. He pledged to do his best to ease the problem.

The 1945 Battle of Okinawa between the US military and Imperial Japanese Army left more than 200,000 people dead, including a quarter of Okinawa residents.



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