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HOME  > Past issues  > 2019 June 19 - 25  > GSDF memorial service for Okinawa Battle commander glorifies ex-Imperial Army: Okinawa Peace Committee
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2019 June 19 - 25 [SDF]

GSDF memorial service for Okinawa Battle commander glorifies ex-Imperial Army: Okinawa Peace Committee

June 24, 2019

A group of high-ranking officers of the Ground SDF on June 23 at “Mabuni no Oka” at the Okinawa Peace Memorial Park gave their respects before a monument commemorating the commander in chief who had commanded the Battle of Okinawa (Mar.26-Jun.23, 1945).

Meanwhile, Okinawan citizens on the same day, Okinawa Memorial Day, at “Mabuni no Oka” offered consolation to the souls of the victims in the Battle.

The Okinawa Peace Committee, ever since the first ceremony held by GSDF officers took place in 2004, has been criticizing the annual memorial service for honoring the former Imperial Army, beautifying the Battle of Okinawa, and justifying the Pacific War. The peace organization before the service made a representation to the GSDF in Okinawa, demanding that the ceremony be cancelled.

The monument in question was built to praise Okinawa Defensive Force Commander Ushijima Mitsuru who led the fight in the Battle of Okinawa, the only ground battle fought in Japan, which took the lives of one out of four Okinawans.

In the service, Commanding General of the 15th Brigade, Nakamura Hiroaki, followed by 27 senior SDF officers offered flowers and bowed their heads in prayer in front of the monument. The SDF explained that it was a "private" event, but all of them were dressed in uniform with their ranks displayed.

Past related articles:
> Battle of Okinawa ceremony held amid calls for reduction in US base burdens [June 24, 2016]
> The Day of Okinawa Battle’s end, never again shall we be visited with horrors of war [June 23, 2014]
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