Okinawa governor to skip state sovereignty ceremony

JIJI

Okinawa Gov. Hirokazu Nakaima will not attend a government-sponsored ceremony to celebrate the 61st anniversary of the country’s restoration of sovereignty after its defeat in World War II, officials said Wednesday.

Instead, Okinawa Vice Gov. Kurayoshi Takara will be sent to the ceremony set for April 28.

Nakaima’s decision to skip the ceremony was due to the Okinawa public’s strong opposition to the event, sources said.

The governor said in a statement that he wants the central government to understand the opinions of the Okinawa public.

The decision was a tough one for the governor, Takara told reporters.

Takara added that he will attend the ceremony by taking into account the feelings of Okinawa residents, and as a Japanese citizen.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters in Tokyo that he was informed that the Okinawa vice governor will attend the ceremony.

The central government will conduct the ceremony in consideration of the feelings of the people in Okinawa, Suga said.

Okinawans oppose the event marking the effectuation of the San Francisco Peace Treaty on April 28, 1952. Although Japan regained its sovereignty, Okinawa stayed separated from the rest of Japan under U.S. control.