Opinion poll: 95% want experiences of the Battle of Okinawa handed down

June 3, 2015 Ryukyu Shimpo

The Ryukyu Shimpo and the Okinawa Television Broadcasting (OTV) carried out a telephone poll on May 30 and 31 ahead of the upcoming memorial for the 70th anniversary of the end of the Battle of Okinawa.

In the survey, 94.8 percent of respondents said they wanted the experiences of the war handed down to next generation by word of mouth, and 75.4 percent said they want this to happen more often than it does now.

When respondents were asked how the experiences of the war should be handed down to the next generation, 41.2 percent responded; “efforts in schools,” 31.4 percent answered; “people who survived from the war should pass on their experiences through oral history,” and 22.8 percent wanted the governments “to promote peace-related projects.”

Eighty-seven point eight percent responded; “the right to self-determination for Okinawan people should be expanded.” It is speculated that a strong reaction against the governments of Japan and the United States, which are going ahead with the relocation plan despite the will of the people, led to this result.

When respondents were asked whether the government has given enough consideration to its regional development and foreign policies during the past 70 years, 54.2 percent responded; “not sufficient consideration,” and some of these respondents said; “it lacks consideration if anything.” Around 41 percent responded; “it has given sufficient consideration”.

Fifty-eight point six percent responded; “U.S. military bases are not necessary in Okinawa.” As the top reason for their response, 43 percent responded; “the base burden is too heavy on Okinawa”.

Of the respondents, 38.6 percent said; “the U.S. military base is necessary in Okinawa.” Half of these asserted that the reason for its necessity is because it helps protect Japan and the East Asia region.

When respondents were asked about Okinawa’s future, a 66.6 percent majority of them supported the following statement; “it should remain one of the prefectures in Japan,” followed by 21 percent who chose this statement; “it should become a domestic, special autonomous region in Japan.” Respondents who answered; “it should be independent from Japan,” amounted to 8.4 percent.

(English translation by T&CT)

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