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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 June 14 - 20  > Ex-POWs’ group demand collection of remains of Japanese prisoners captured in Battle of Okinawa who died in Hawaii POW camp
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2017 June 14 - 20 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Ex-POWs’ group demand collection of remains of Japanese prisoners captured in Battle of Okinawa who died in Hawaii POW camp

June 17, 2017
A group of former Japanese prisoners captured during the 1945 Battle of Okinawa who were sent to a Hawaii POW camp will petition the central and Okinawa Prefectural governments to collect and return the remains of the 12 Okinawans who died in the camp.

During the Battle of Okinawa, over 3,000 Okinawans were taken to the prison camp in Hawaii. At least 12 Okinawans died in detention.

The group for “the memorial services for Okinawan prisoners of war in Hawaii” on June 14 held a meeting in Kadena Town in Okinawa Prefecture and decided to make a request that the Ministry of Welfare and the Okinawa Prefectural government promote the collection and the repatriation of the remains of these 12 Okinawans and to collect and disclose information of the 3,000 Okinawans who were relocated to Hawaii.

On June 4, the group held the first memorial service for the 12 Okinawans in Honolulu with the assistance of Okinawans living in Hawaii.

Former Okinawan POW Furugen Saneyoshi (87), a former Japanese Communist Party Lower House member, participated in the memorial ceremony.

Another former POW, Toguchi Hikoshin (90), who is a co-representative of the group, said, “It is one of the calamities of the Pacific War that Okinawan prisoners lost their lives in Hawaii. The Japanese government should take the demand for the repatriation of remains as part of the post-war process. The government is obligated to recover the remains of the 12 Okinawans.”

This group is to visit the prefectural government on June 21 in order to hand over the petition to Okinawa Governor Onaga Takeshi and will also mail the petition to the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare.

Past related article:
> Memorial service for ex-Okinawan POWs will take place in Hawaii [June 2, 2017]
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