Declaration of Peace

 During World War II, Okinawa was the only battleground in Japan. Involved innocent civilians and cast the sacrifice of over 200,000 precious lives. The War was the fiercest years in our history, causing the boring of our properties and the loss of numbers cultural assets that were priceless.

Since the end of the war, 54 years have passed and we Okinawans have never stopped calling for peace and human dignity. At times we were enthusiastic, or we were calm yet persistent in promoting peace. It is one humankind's a perpetual yearning, a sentiment which is deeply engraved in the mind and the body of Okinawan people, after the harsh experiences of the war and the U.S. military administration over the long years.
With great solemnity we have prayed for those souls lost in vain and have appealed to the world for peace, in hopes of not repeating the pastmiseries of war.
Yet even after half a century, the unbearable burden of the vast U.S. military bases is still evident, obstructing regional developments in the prefecture. Therefore we must proceed our efforts in reducing and realigning the bases.

The world today is insecure, threatened by the regional conflicts at Various locations around the world. Because of ethnic & religious, tensions human rights are violated and self-dignity is compromised. Despite the wishes of the world to abolish nuclear arms, the globe is facing the threat of nuclear proliferation, as some countries are looking into greater possession and further development of nuclear arms. Concerning these issues as well as global environmental destruction, we must secure peace and establish an order, which is in solidarity with the world.

To bring forth a peaceful world, as global citizens we must open our minds to understand each other and to overcome the differences of religion and ethnicity. We must exchange our thoughts and views, and put greater effort towards creating mutual trust.

In July 2000, the Kyushu-Okinawa G8 Summit will be held in Okinawa prefecture. It will be a historical meeting of the leaders of the G8 countries, a milestone marked at the end of the millennium, an event to herald the beginning of the twenty-first century. It will be a great opportunity for Okinawans to express our spirit of genuine peace.

Together with nations around the world will dedicate ourselves to build peace and happiness for humankind. Okinawa's contributions to the world are the new Peace Prayer Museum and the establishment of the Okinawa Peace Award, an honarary for devoted leaders creating peace.

On this memorial ceremony for all the victims of the Battle of Okinawa, we Okinawans declare to take all steps possible towards realizing everlasting world peace.

June 23 1999

Keiichi Inamine
Okinawa Prefecture