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Okinawan war relics, refugee caves in bad shape

Date Posted: 2001-06-29

Okinawa Prefecture Buried Cultural Heritage Center has been conducting a five-year war site research since 1998.

Researchers’ mid-term report of the survey indicates that the condition of war relics is far from acceptable. People affiliated with the research privately descript the situation in many cases as desperate.

So far the research has been completed on more than five hundred sites, of which most are so called “gama,” a natural cave where people took refuge during the fighting.

At one such cave in Naha, garbage such as pet-bottles, beer and beverage cans, and even a moped were found. Most “gama” are neglected with no one taking care of the site. Some had completely disappeared because construction took place at the site without notice.

56 years have passed since the World War II ended, and officials are making an effort to preserve those sites in order to teach future generations about the horrors of the war.

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