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PM and US Military Asked Not To Attend Memorial

Date Posted: 2000-07-01

The Okinawa Peace Promotion committee has issued a plea to the Prime Ministerís Office asking the Prime Minister to cancel his attendance at the prayer ceremony scheduled to be held at the Peace Memorial Park Peace Corner tomorrow.

The group has reportedly sent a similar message to the U.S. military officials who for the first time were extended an official invitation to the ceremony. Okinawa Governor Keiichi Inamineís spokesman dismissed the groupís petition as nonsense.

In a statement, the Governorís Office said that the war was a tragedy involving all, and anyone wishing to pray for the souls of those killed - and for future peace - should be able to attend. ďIt is not only Okinawans who were killed in that war, so we cannot say that this is only an occasion for Okinawans,Ē the spokesman stated.

Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori has confirmed that he will attend in person. Marine Lt. Gen. Earl B. Hailfton will represent the U.S. Military at the ceremony.

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