OPG to set up an explanation board about the former 32nd Army Headquarters Shelter at Shuri

November 23, 2011 Ryukyu Shimpo

A committee of five experts set up by the Okinawa Prefectural Government (OPG) and chaired by Professor Yoshifumi Ikeda of the University of the Ryukyus, held its second meeting on November 22 in which they drafted a description to be used on an explanation board for the former 32nd Army Headquarters Shelter at Shuri. Content will be finalized after the OPG considers the report in detail.

In 1997 the OPG created a plan to preserve and open the former Army Headquarter Shelter to the public, but since then concerns about safety issues have delayed progress. With heightened demand for such an explanation board, the OPG allocated about 2.15 million yen for this purpose in this year’s budget.

The committee’s report gives details of the history and construction of the Headquarters Shelter, the Japanese Army’s retreat to the south and the plight of those who lived in the shelter at the time of the battle. The committee members pointed out that the board should not only cover these facts, but should also include mention of the presence of female civilian personnel and of comfort women, that local people were killed by the Imperial Japanese Army without justification for supposedly being spies and that the retreat to the south by the military resulted in the death of many people. These suggestions by the committee members have been included in the report.

(English Translation by T&CT, Mark Ealey)

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