The Okinawa prefectural government held on Sunday a memorial ceremony to commemorate those who died in the Battle of Okinawa, in the Peace Memorial Park in the Mabuni area of Itoman, Okinawa Prefecture.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Okinawa Gov. Denny Tamaki participated in the event marking the 74th anniversary of the end of the Battle of Okinawa during the final stage of World War II. Abe and Tamaki each delivered an address to mourn the victims.
About 5,100 people, including bereaved family members of the war dead, attended the ceremony, the first of the Reiwa era.
In front of the park’s Cornerstone of Peace stone monuments on which the names of the war dead are inscribed, many people joined their hands in prayer.
This year, the names of 42 people were added to the monuments, bringing the total number of names to 241,566.
The Battle of Okinawa began on March 26, 1945, and developed into large-scale ground battles. The number of victims in the battle is estimated at about 200,000. On June 23 that year, the commander of the Japanese forces committed suicide in the underground headquarters in southern Okinawa Island, thus it is regarded that the Imperial Japanese Army’s organized combat in the prefecture ended on that date.