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Prime Minister Attends the Memorial Ceremony to Commemorate the Fallen on the 61st Anniversary of the End of the Battle of Okinawa
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Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi visited Okinawa Prefecture on the Memorial Day for the War Dead marking the 61st anniversary of the end of the Battle of Okinawa. He attended the Memorial Ceremony to Commemorate the Fallen on the 61st Anniversary of the end of the Battle of Okinawa between the United States (US) and Japan forces in the closing months of World War II, hosted by Okinawa Prefecture at the Peace Memorial Park in Itoman City. Approximately 4,500 attendants, including Mr. Keiichi Inamine, the Governor of Okinawa Prefecture, and others representing the prefecture, the Prime Minister, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the President of the House of Councillors, relevant Cabinet Ministers, and the bereaved family members, paid tribute to the more than 240,000 people who lost their lives to the battle.
At the ceremony, after opening remarks were delivered attendants observed a minute of silence at noon. That was followed by words of mourning by the association of war bereaved families, the offering of white chrysanthemums by representing participants, a peace declaration by Governor Inamine, and the reciting of a poem by a local high school student. Prime Minister Koizumi then delivered a guest speech, saying, "We must maintain peace into the future so that we will never experience such a disastrous war ever again." Prime Minister Koizumi expressed his resolve concerning the realignment of US forces in Japan, saying, "We will continue to discuss the issue thoroughly to gain the understanding and support of the local people of Okinawa so that we can substantiate the plans."
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