Japanese government responds positively to appeal for Okinawa war damages to be included in nationwide report

Japanese government responds positively to appeal for Okinawa war damages to be included in nationwide report

Vice Governor Ishou Urasaki (front right) appeals for records to be kept of damage from the Battle of Okinawa on November 26, 10:30 a.m., at the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications


November 26, 2015 Ryukyu Shimpo

When the Japanese government’s Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications compiled their “Report of Nationwide [WWII] War Damages” from 1997 to 2009, the report left out any mention of damage suffered by Okinawa Prefecture. On the morning of November 26, Okinawa Vice Governor Ishou Urasaki visited the ministry and appealed to officials to include damage suffered by Okinawa, including details of the Battle of Okinawa, in the report. He met with Secretariat Councilor Shuji Saiki, who reacted positively, saying he appreciated the importance of the issue and expressing a desire to cooperate and include records on Okinawa.

The statement of appeal was signed by Okinawa Governor Takeshi Onaga and was addressed to Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications Sanae Takaichi.

Research for the report began after Okinawa was returned to Japan in 1972, yet Okinawa was not included in the scope of the study. Okinawa was ultimately left out of Japan’s official national record of war damages.

The statement of appeal points out, “Okinawa was turned into a brutal battlefield where many civilians became embroiled in a vicious land battle. Keeping records of this suffering is highly important and must not be neglected.” The statement further called for records of the war to be passed down to future generations so that memories do not fade now that 70 years have passed since the end of the war.

The fact that damage suffered by Okinawa was left out of the Report of Nationwide War Damages was discovered in August through an investigation conducted by the Okinawa prefectural chapter of the Social Democratic Party.

(English translation by T&CT and Sandi Aritza)

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