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Okinawan Wants Continued Peace Efforts by Emperor, Empress

Okinawan Wants Continued Peace Efforts by Emperor, Empress

   Naha, Okinawa Pref., Aug. 11 (Jiji Press)--Tokumasa Miyagi, a 78-year-old Okinawan who lost his father in a fierce ground battle in the southern Japan prefecture in the final phase of World War II, hopes that new Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako will inherit their parents' peace efforts.
   Miyagi, head of the prefectural association of relatives of the war dead, is among about 40 Okinawans, aged between 12 and 91, who will attend an annual war memorial ceremony set to take place in Tokyo Thursday, the 74th anniversary of the end of World War II.
   The ceremony marks the first of its kind since Emperor Naruhito took over the throne from his father, Emperor Emeritus Akihito, on May 1, when the country's Imperial era name changed to Reiwa from Heisei.
   Miyagi was 3 years old when the Battle of Okinawa took place. His father is believed to have died around Mabuni, the venue of the last fierce fighting during the battle, but details are unknown.
   He himself and his family ran about in a forest in northern Okinawa trying to escape. After the end of the war, he suffered from malaria.

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