Four teens arrested for damaging Chibichiri Gama suicide cave in Yomitan

Four teens arrested for damaging Chibichiri Gama suicide cave in Yomitan

Chibichirigama Gama cave vandalized in Namihira Yomitan on September 12


September 16, 2017 Ryukyu Shimpo


On September 15, the Kadena Police arrested four boys aged between 16 and 19 for vandalizing the Chibichiri Gama cave in Namihira, Yomitan where residents were forced to commit mass suicide during the Battle of Okinawa.


According to the police, the teens have admitted to the offence.


The arrested are three unemployed youths, aged 16, 18, 19, and one construction worker, aged 17.


They have been charged with damage to property including two warning sign boards, four bundles of senbazuru (one thousand origami cranes) and one plaque between around 12 p.m. on September 5 and around 11 a.m. on September 12.


On September 15, the Chibichirigama Bereaved Families Association filed a claim with the Kadena Police Station.


Norio Yonaha, head of the Bereaved Families Association, said when he filed the claim, “The bereaved relatives are shocked and hurt.

Chibichirigama is a place of learning about the past and connecting generations.

This action is not allowed. We would like the police to find out why this happened in order to prevent such an action again. ”

According to the Kadena Police Station, some of the arrested boys alleged that they had gone to “a haunted spot” to “test their courage.”

On the morning of September 10, the arrested visited the cave with other teens, travelling on motorcycles.

All the teens except the four facing charges tried to stop the vandalization of the cave.


(English translation by T&CT)


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