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HOME  > Past issues  > 2013 June 26 - July 2  > Okinawans commemorate 54th anniversary of US plane crash at primary school
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2013 June 26 - July 2 [OKINAWA]

Okinawans commemorate 54th anniversary of US plane crash at primary school

July 1, 2013
The 54th memorial service for those who were killed by a U.S. plane crashing in Okinawa was held on June 30, with the attendance of about 250 people, including members of bereaved families.

On June 30, 1959, a U.S. military aircraft with engine trouble crashed into the premise of Miyamori Elementary School in Okinawa’s Uruma City, killing a total of 18 people, including pupils.

Aragaki Haru, 85, lost her first son due to the aftereffects of a severe burn caused by the crash. “It’s still painful for me to recall the accident. I have attended the ceremony every year with a determination not to allow the creation of more victims,” she said in tears.

Toyohama Mitsuteru, the 77-year-old organizer of the memorial service, was a teacher at the primary school when the accident occurred. “This was a catastrophe caused by the extraordinary concentration of U.S. military bases in Okinawa. We must create a society in which children will no longer be made victims,” he stressed.
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