On June 23, a memorial ceremony to remember the civilians whose lives were lost in the Battle of Okinawa was held in Naha. While the ceremony was supposed to be a day of remembrance, this year’s ceremony impressed the seriousness of the problem Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his government have vis-à-vis Okinawa.
During the ceremony, Governor Takeshi Onaga broke from tradition by explicitly reiterating his opposition to the government’s plan of relocating U.S. Marine Corps Futenma Air Station to the less populated northern part of Okinawa Prefecture to a location off of Camp Schwab in Henoko. Abe, while continuing the practice of attending the ceremony as he has since 2013, expressed his displeasure by meeting Onaga for only five minutes before returning to Tokyo. In 2013 and 2014, Abe attended the memorial ceremony and met then-Governor Hirokazu Nakaima over lunch before returning to Tokyo.
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