A memorial service was held in Okinawa on Saturday to mark the 67th anniversary of the end of the Battle of Okinawa. A minute of silence was observed at noon across Okinawa.
The memorial service, which was attended by Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and Okinawa Gov Hirokazu Nakaima, was held at the Peace Memorial Park in Itoman where the bloody battle ended.
An estimated 250,000 people, including 150,000 Okinawan civilians, Japanese combatants and American soldiers, are believed to have died in the battle which began in April 1945. The names of more than 241,000 dead -- Japanese and non-Japanese -- are inscribed on a monument at the peace park.
In his speech, Noda said Japan would never forget the sacrifices made by the Okinawan people during the war, Fuji TV reported. He also promised that the central government would do all it can to reduce the burden on Okinawa.© Japan Today