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Battle of Okinawa memorial to be held in Hawaii for 1st Time

Naha, Okinawa Pref., June 1 (Jiji Press)–A memorial service for those who lost their lives in the Battle of Okinawa will be held in Honolulu, Hawaii, for the first time on Sunday, its organizing committee said Thursday.

Approximately 200 people are expected to attend the ceremony, the committee said at a press conference at the Okinawa prefectural government’s head office in Naha, the southernmost prefecture’s capital.

Choko Takayama, 82, the cohead of the committee, said that he would like to discover where people who were transferred to Hawaii during the battle in 1945 as captives and died there are buried and return their remains to Okinawa.

“More than 240,000 precious lives were lost in the Battle of Okinawa,” former captive Hikoshin Toguchi, 90, said. He expressed hope that the ceremony will deliver a message of peace in and outside Japan.

According to the organizing committee, roughly 3,000 people were sent to Hawaii as prisoners during the harsh battle, and at least 12 died in captivity. It is unknown where their graves are.

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