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‘New’ adults celebrate with festive ceremonies, parties

Date Posted: 2010-01-14

Monday was a big day for 17,248 young people in Okinawa; they were honored during Coming of Age Day ceremonies as they turned 20.

Ladies dressed in new kimonos, while men put on hakama or new suits, and all headed for photo studios for the official ‘Adult’ photographs. From there, it was off to the municipalities for ceremonies and parties. This year, Okinawa Prefecture officials say, the number of young people turning 20 dropped by 360 from 2009.

“Congratulations to everybody who turned 20. All Okinawan people celebrate your Adult Day,” said Okinawa’s Governor in an address to the celebrating young people. “From now on, all of you are expected to behave as adults and prove your right to be an adult, carrying out responsibilities and duties accordingly, as well as enjoying the rights.”

Hirokazu Nakaima told the new adults “Okinawa Prefecture has to grapple with all sorts of problems, like promoting of industrial jobs, the American military base problems, and international friendship,” and called upon them to “cooperate on strong principles, working in the social world and environment, and to be strong in gripping the problems; we need your young power and your power of creation, to positively work together.”

The governor called on all new adults to “Please have pride in yourself to assume the responsibilities of the next generation, make your dreams come true, and be assured of my hopes and wishes that all of you have a peaceful, secure future in Okinawa, bringing your dreams and power to work for Okinawa’s future.”

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