By Ikeda Teppei
Okinawa Gov. Tamaki Denny said on March 14 that the prefectural government will accept Ukrainians fleeing the Russian invasion, as a form of humanitarian assistance. The prefecture will secure rooms at prefectural housing complexes, provide food and other daily commodities, and set up a consultation center. It also plans to support the education [of Ukrainian children] with an eye toward long-term evacuation. On March 6, Okinawa City Mayor Kuwae Sachio also expressed the city’s intention to cooperate in accepting refugees. Discussions are getting underway on specific support measures in the prefecture.
“Precious lives must not be lost in war,” said Gov. Tamaki. “The international community needs to cooperate to provide all kinds of support.” The issue was also discussed at a prefectural government meeting of top officials on March 14, in which Tamaki instructed each department to consider specific support measures. A senior prefectural government official says the prefectural government will consider measures from a broad perspective, including the establishment of an entity tasked with supporting [Ukrainian refugees].
Okinawa City Mayor Kuwae expressed the city’s intention to accept refugees in anticipation of such a request from the central government, which has expressed its willingness to accept [Ukrainian] refugees. The mayor mentioned the utilization of public housing complexes and stressed: “We will consider support measures to ensure that refugees are fed, housed, and clothed. We want to contribute to peace by engaging in unstinting international cooperation.” (Abridged)