It is my great honor to represent the university at the remembrance ceremony to mark the end of the Battle of Okinawa on 23 June 1945.
The Battle of Okinawa was grotesque beyond imagination.
The ceremony was very moving. It is a big deal. Prime Minister Abe and senior members of the Cabinet are there. Caroline Kennedy, US Ambassador, is there. We sit two security rows behind Abe.
The battle was inconceivably fierce. It destroyed every building, burnt every single tree and all vegetation. It left a wasteland of mud, maggots and blood. About 35% of the civilian population of the island were slain. Women and children mostly.
Onaga san is the Governor of Okinawa. He got it right, “We cannot forget the unimaginable absurdity and cruelty of the war our people experienced.”
Love and peace to you, people of Okinawa.