Looking back on the history of the reversion of Okinawa by recreating the meeting on the sea

Looking back on the history of the reversion of Okinawa by recreating the meeting on the sea

The first meeting on the sea on April 28, 1963.

January 31, 2012 Yoshiya Hokama of the Ryukyu Shimpo

The meeting on the sea took place on April 28 in the years between 1963 and 1972. The people of Okinawa, who wished to return to Japanese sovereignty, and the people of Yoron, who had already officially returned to Japan, put fishing boats out and gathered by the maritime border to call for Okinawa’s early return.

With the 40th anniversary this year of the reversion to Japan, Kunigami and Yoron are reenacting the meeting on the sea to look back at the history involved, to pray for lasting peace, and to promote the town and village for further friendship and exchange.

In addition to the meeting, Kunigami sets up a bonfire at Cape Hedo and Yoron does the same at the Reversion Memorial Tower located in the southern part of the town. They also plan a march on Yoron, a relay in Kunigami, and an exchange program for school children.

On January 30, Masao Kawakami the deputy mayor of Yoron and staff of the Tourism and Business department of the town visited the Kunigami Village office. They had their first meeting with Kunigami’s Deputy Mayor Shigeru Kinjo and staff of the Tourism, Business and Planning Department. They coordinated ideas on holding events and will set up a planning committee before the end of February.

Deputy Mayor Kinjo said, “I believe that the mayors’ peace declaration on the sea will strengthen our bonds. I hope that this will be a good public relations activity for us.” Kawakami, the deputy mayor of Yoron, said, “It is marvelous to be able to hold events together. We hope to promote deeper mutual exchanges.”

(English translation by T&CT, Shinako Oyakawa and Mark Ealey)

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