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Statue of Keizo Obuchi unveiled

Date Posted: 2001-05-04

A bronze statue of late Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi was unveiled in a ceremony at the International Friendship Hall adjacent to Busena Resort, Sunday, the site of the Okinawa G8 Summit last July. Obuchi is widely credited for pushing through the idea of having the leaders of the world’s eight richest countries and Russia to come to Okinawa.

Although Obuchi died before the Summit was held, he is widely credited as having been and exceptional friend of Okinawa who pushed through many measures to boost the local economy. He had visited the prefecture regularly since his high school days and had many personal friends here.

Many local and national dignitaries attended the ceremony, including Ryutaro Hashoimoto, the former Director of Okinawa Development Agency, ex-LDP Secretary General Hiromu Nonaka, senior Upper House member Mikio Aoki, and members of Obuchi’s family including his daughter Yuko Obuchi who won a seat in the parlament her father had held prior to his death. Okinawa Governor Keiichi Inamine and Naha City Mayor Takeshi Onaga also attended.

Obuchi’s statue depicts the late prime ministers sitting and looking over the beautiful Okinawan ocean that he had learned to love so much. According to Sadao Nishimura, a professor at the University of the Ryukyus, the statue looks like Obuchi is gently talking to people of Okinawa with his soft face and his hands open forward. His motto “Born to fate, fight for destiny and burn for mission” is inscribed on the base of the statue.

At the ceremony, Obuchi’s widow, Chizuko, placed a few locks of her late husband’s hair inside the bronze state.

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