Japan's Emperor Akihito began a long-delayed visit to Okinawa yesterday and immediately reached out to the people in an attempt to heal the wounds of the Second World War, Reuter reports from Naha.
'I am at a loss for words to express my feelings for those 200,000 who fell victim to the ground battle which embroiled residents on Okinawa,' the Emperor said to bereaved relatives. 'I share the deep sorrow of the families . . . I hereby offer deep condolences,' he told about 150 ageing survivors of the climactic land battle of the Pacific war.
Since the war, survivors have demanded a visit and formal apology from Emperor Hirohito, father of Akihito, in whose name the Japanese army waged war.