“Carry on the mantle of peace and coexistence”—2,000 pay their respects to former governor Ota

“Carry on the mantle of peace and coexistence”—2,000 pay their respects to former governor Ota

More than 2,000 people paid their respects at the funeral for former governor Masahide Ota on July 26 at the Okinawa Convention Center exhibition building in Ginowan


July 27, 2017 Ryukyu Shimpo

A public funeral to mourn former governor Masahide Ota, who passed away on June 12, and honor his achievements was held on the afternoon of July 26 at the Okinawa Convention Center in Ginowan.

Governor Takeshi Onaga served as chair of the organizing committee for the funeral. Around 2,000 people attended to pay their respects to former governor Ota. At the ceremony, Governor Onaga expressed his determination to inherit the principles for which Ota stood.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who attended together with Minister of State for Okinawa Affairs Yosuke Tsuruho, emphasized his commitment to reducing the burden of bases on Okinawa and to Okinawa revitalization in his commemorative remarks, saying, “I will contribute as much as possible to the building of a bright future for Okinawa.

” Former vice governor Mikio Higa gave a speech as a representative of Ota’s close friends, saying, “We will continue to oppose all attempts to impose discrimination against or sacrifice upon Okinawans.

” His comment drew applause from the audience. 

This prefectural funeral was the third to be held in Okinawa, following those of former governors Chobyo Yara and Junji Nishime. 

At the ceremony, Governor Onaga praised Ota’s achievements of building the Cornerstone of Peace, opening the Okinawa Prefectural Archives, and handling U.S. base-related issues.

“There is no question that the issue of reducing the base burden on Okinawa came to be discussed in national politics as a result of Ota’s decisiveness,” said Onaga.

He continued, “I pledge that we will inherit the principle of ‘a spirit of peace-loving coexistence’ that Ota adhered to till the very end, and that we will continue endeavoring to build an Okinawa where our children and grandchildren, the bearers of the future, can live with peaceful smiles.”

(English translation by T&CT and Sandi Aritza)

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