ITOMAN, OKINAWA PREF. – Crown Prince Akishino and his wife, Crown Princess Kiko, visited Peace Memorial Park in the city of Itoman, Okinawa Prefecture, on Saturday, laying flowers at the National Okinawa War Dead Mausoleum within the park.
In the presence of bereaved relatives, the couple offered bouquets of white chrysanthemums and deeply bowed at the mausoleum, in which the ashes of about 180,000 victims of the Battle of Okinawa during World War II are placed.
The crown prince called on the relatives to tell their war experiences to children and young people, according to Naeko Teruya, 83, former head of a group of bereaved families in the prefecture.
“We’ll be grateful if they continue to have sympathy for (the victims of) the Battle of Okinawa,” said Tokumasa Miyagi, 78, the group’s head.
The crown prince, along with the crown princess, arrived in Okinawa earlier on Saturday for their first visit to the prefecture since the enthronement of Emperor Naruhito, his older brother, in May, which put him first in line to the throne.
On Sunday, the couple attended a national green festival in the Okinawa city of Ginowan and then visited the site of Shuri Castle, a symbol of the prefecture that was destroyed by a fire on Oct. 31. They returned to Tokyo later in the day.