Praying for World Peace in Okinawa 75 Years After the War.
August 15th, 1945, 75 years ago today, I am in Okinawa.
At noon that day, the Emperor Showa read out the “Imperial Rescript on the Termination of the Greater East Asia War” on the Jewel Voice Broadcast, accepting the Potsdam Declaration, broadcasting to the Japanese people the surrender to the allies via radio and newspaper.
The war ended, and Japan lost.
However, the Jewel Voice Broadcast did not reach the people of Okinawa, where Americans were occupying the land (returned 27 years later in 1972).
At the time, the Okinawan citizens were hiding to avoid entering the camp or surrendering, so it was difficult to hear the Emperor’s Jewel Voice Broadcast radio.
Kazufumi Uechi, a newspaper reporter, wrote down the news from the Jewel Voice Broadcast he had heard at the Nakijin U.S. 6th Division Marine HQ and the U.S. Military printed it out and passed it around to the villagers hiding in the mountains.
Okinawa has been at the mercy of history for the geographical reasons of being the southernmost tip of Japan.
The US military has called Okinawa the “anti-communist policy center” the “Key Stone” of the Pacific Ocean, and has repressed the human rights of Okinawa residents to an extreme extent. Due to the expansion of the base, farmers were forced to evacuate by armed soldiers, and students who protested were exiled from the University of the Ryukyus under the jurisdiction of the US military and refused to apply for travel in order to transfer to a mainland university.
Such a history Okinawa holds, praying for no more war around the world and permanent peace.