Okinawa school remembers victims of 1959 US fighter jet crash

June 30


An elementary school in Japan's southwestern prefecture of Okinawa has held a memorial service for the people who were killed when a US fighter jet crashed 63 years ago.


The plane that took off from Kadena Air Base crashed into Miyamori Elementary School in what is now Uruma City on June 30, 1959. Eighteen people, including 11 students, died, and more than 200 were injured. Okinawa was under US military rule at that time and the accident enraged local people.


A total of 140 students attended the service on Thursday.


After observing a moment of silence, they left flowers at a monument bearing the names of the victims and rang the"Bell of Peace" that was put up in the schoolyard after the accident.


US military planes could be seen flying near the school during the ceremony.


A sixth-grader, Ito Yuki, said she hopes an accident like this will never happen again, and she now realizes the importance of peace.


After the ceremony, relatives of the victims and people who were students at the school at the time of the accident visited the site to mourn those who died.