Okinawa’s governor ‘may’ attend Sovereignty Anniversary ceremonies

Opposition to the central government’s plans for a government led ceremony in April to commemorate the 1952 restoration of Japan’s sovereignty has Okinawa’s governor shuffling his feet on whether to participate.

I do not feel I can (attend) with open arms,” says Hirokazu Nakaima, who’s position is that while the anniversary was good for the mainland, it’s a “day of insult” in Okinawa.  By Nakaima’s definition, Okinawa was “cut off from the mainland and placed under U.S. occupation until its return in 1972.”

After flatly rejecting chances of his participation only a week ago, the governor appeared to be softening his position in talks this week.  The ceremony April 28th marks the day Japan regained it sovereignty under the 1952 San Francisco Peace Treaty.  It came after a seven-year U.S. Occupation.  “I want to renew our determination to move forward into the future of our country, including Okinawa”, said Nakaima.

The Prime Minister was conciliatory during a meeting with Nakaima, saying “we cannot forget the history of hardships in Okinawa, the Amami Islands, and the Osagawara Islands that were outside Japan’s administration for a certain period of time after the war.”

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