Okinawa Week on way in Washington C.D.

An event to promote the culture and history of Okinawa kicked off in Washington D.C. , Thursday, with an opening ceremony of “Okinawa Week” that took place at the residence of the Japanese ambassador to the United States Kenichiro Sasae. Lieutenant Governor Kurayoshi Takara represented thr Okinawa Prefectural Government at the occasion..

“Okinawa is the area of Japan that has the closest ties with the United States,” Takara stated in his speech, referring to the Battle of Okinawa in the final stages of World War II as well as the prefecture’s burden of hosting many U.S. military bases.

He went on to call for a resolution for the U.S. base issue through deeper mutual understanding, saying that people in Okinawa want U.S. citizens to understand Okinawa.

According to Okinawa prefecture officials, the event is part of a prefectural government project to utilize so-called soft power of Okinawa. Traditional Ryukyu dance was performed at the event and visitors enjoyed local Okinawa cuisine with Okinawan awamorii.

The event is scheduled to continue through Sep. 12 with  Okinawan films and performances of traditional arts.