Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi will visit Okinawa Prefecture on Saturday to attend ceremony marking the 56th anniversary of the end of the Battle of Okinawa between U.S. and Japanese forces, the government’s top spokesman said Tuesday.

It will be Koizumi’s first trip to the prefecture since taking office in late April, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuo Fukuda said at a news conference.

Koizumi will leave Tokyo on Saturday and return later the same day, government officials said.

More than 200,000 people died in the battle in the final stages of World War II.

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