The meaning of this facility in Kume Island
Finally, we have to seriously take to heart the meaning of why this facility was built in Okinawa.
Especially, Kume Island is the location of a heartbreaking incident in which residents of the island were executed by the Japanese military after the Battle of Okinawa. History shows that Okinawa was occupied by Japan, sacrificed for Japan’s war, and offered as an occupied territory to the U.S. military. Even now it is also occupied by vast U.S military bases, and it continues to experience discrimination and suffering. Promises of reduction in U.S. military bases and having these forces transferred to the mainland, made by Japanese government, were broken repeatedly, and the people of Okinawa have been betrayed.
We, the directors and staff, are deeply grateful that the children of Fukushima victims have been here accepted most warmly, and we are especially thankful that Kume Island is supporting them in such a gracious way. At the same time, we hope that we can learn a lesson from history, and that the children who take refuge on this island can help to build a healthy relationship between Okinawa and the rest of Japan. We believe that a deeper understanding of the need to protect not only the children of Fukushima, but also the children of Okinawa, can be achieved by being here.