The Micronesia Repatriation of Okinawans organization made what has become an annual trek to the CNMI, this time celebrating 49 years since their peace memorial was installed on Saipan.
About a dozen Okinawan folk who either lived in the CNMI during the Japanese era or are descendants of Japanese individuals who lived and died in the Marianas, made their way to Saipan for the peace memorial service at the Okinawa Peace Tower in Marpi last Tuesday.
Through Pacific Development, Inc., the group has ventured to the CNMI for nearly 50 years now but, despite the years that have passed, their excitement to meet CNMI residents has remained.
This time, the group had the opportunity to meet Marianas Visitors Authority managing director Chris Concepcion, Saipan Mayor David M. Apatang, and Japanese consul to the CNMI Kinji Shinoda.
The group extended its utmost appreciation for the CNMI’s continued support of their pilgrimage and their efforts to ensure that the people of Okinawa and the people of the Marianas continue to maintain the relationship established over the years.
The Micronesia Repatriation of Okinawans will be leaving for Tinian today to continue their prayers of peace at the Tinian Peace Tower.
After today’s ceremony, the group will have a few more days to visit the sights where they grew up before departing, or where their ancestors are buried.
According to PDI managing director Gordon Marciano, a few members of the group are excited to be back as they call Saipan their second home.
“[They] are looking forward to visiting just about everywhere they can, strolling down memory lane,” he said.
The group extends their appreciation to everyone who participated in the ceremony, especially the CNMI government, for its continued efforts to maintain the peace between Japan and the CNMI.