Ambassador Kennedy Visits Okinawa

Ambassador Caroline Kennedy made her first visit to Okinawa Prefecture Feb. 11-13. Her first stop was the Okinawa Peace Memorial Park, where she offered flowers at the National War Dead Peace Mausoleum and reflected on the sacrifices of the soldiers and civilians who lost their lives in the Battle of Okinawa.

In remarks she made at the Okinawa Prefectural Peace Memorial Museum after the visit, Ambassador Kennedy said, “Okinawa has played a critical role in history for 500 years. This memorial bears witness to the sacrifices Okinawans have made and the leadership Okinawa has shown in working to end war and violence.”

Ambassador Kennedy then met with Okinawa Governor Hirokazu Nakaima and discussed issues of mutual interest, presenting him with a copy of the visa application then-Congressman John F. Kennedy submitted when he went to Okinawa for medical treatment in 1951.

After meeting with the governor, Ambassador Kennedy visited the historic Shuri Castle and learned about Okinawa’s unique history and culture, after which she visited Shuri High School to participate in a poetry exchange with the students there.

On February 13, Ambassador Kennedy met with the organizers of the upcoming Kadena Special Olympics in the morning, after which she visited Camp Foster to meet with and offer words of encouragement to U.S. military personnel there. She then inspected the newly constructed U.S. Naval Hospital before departing Camp Foster for Camp Schwab, where she was briefed about plans for the Futenma Replacement Facility.