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Peace and Disarmament

Back to listJun 23, 2012

Survey of Awareness of Battle of Okinawa Among Local Students

Presenting the results of the surveyPresenting the results of the survey

On June 23, Soka Gakkai youth in Okinawa held a ceremony to remember all those who died in the Battle of Okinawa, which lasted from April to June, 1945. The memorial, which marked the 67th anniversary of the battle, took place at the Soka Gakkai Okinawa International Peace Center. Participants prayed for world peace and the results of a survey to gauge awareness of the Battle of Okinawa and peace issues among students on the island were shared. The survey was carried out by the Soka Gakkai Okinawa Student Peace Committee from June 1-15.

In total, 705 students from five universities--the University of the Ryukyus, Okinawa University, Okinawa International University, Meio University and Okinawa Prefectural University of Arts--participated in the survey.

Overall results of the survey indicated that awareness of the war is decreasing. Of the 705 respondents, 70% had never discussed the Battle of Okinawa with family or friends, a figure that was higher than in the surveys conducted by the peace committee in both 2010 and 2011. Despite 97% of respondents recognizing the importance of reflecting on the battle, only 33% had made efforts to do so. Some 58% felt they had had fewer opportunities to learn about the battle and considered this a cause for concern, while 39% felt that the decline of such opportunities was inevitable.  

As ways to raise awareness of the reality of war and promote peace, respondents highlighted, in descending order, education in schools, exposure to firsthand accounts of people who had experienced war, and the media.

[Adapted from an article in the June 30, 2012, issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan; photo courtesy of SGI-OPI]