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Gov't to remember WWII victims of battles off Kyushu.

NAHA, Japan, Nov. 29 Kyodo

The government will hold a series of shipboard memorial services beginning Thursday afternoon for the victims of U.S. naval attacks during World War II near islands between Okinawa and Kagoshima prefectures, government officials said.

A ship carrying about 470 bereaved families and others left a port in Naha, the capital of Okinawa, at 10 a.m. They will take part in a ceremony to mourn for people who were on some 130 ships sunk by U.S. submarines around the Ryukyu Islands, the officials said.

Before the ceremonies end Friday morning, they are to hold separate services at five locations where civilian ships, including the Konan Maru and the Kagi Maru, went down during the war, they said.

The government decided to hold the ceremonies following requests by an Okinawa association for families of people who died on such ships. They were unable to attend three similar services in the past.

The former Health and Welfare Ministry, now the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, held ceremonies for victims near the Ryukyu Islands, Taiwan and the Philippines in 1979 and 1987.

The ministry also held a ceremony near the Ryukyu Islands in 1998 for victims of the sinking of the Tsushima Maru, a boat that carried students evacuated from war zones.
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Publication:Japan Weekly Monitor
Date:Dec 3, 2001
Words:217
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