On May 12, 2017, Consul General and Mrs. Chiba hosted a community celebration at the Official Residence to mark the 45th anniversary of the reversion of Okinawa to Japan. Remarks were delivered by Consul General Chiba and Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi of the California State Assembly, who grew up in Okinawa. President Edward Kamiya of the Okinawa Association of America offered a toast.
In his remarks, Consul General noted “Prime Minister Sato, the brother of Prime Minister Abe’s grandfather, dedicated his political life to the reversion, stating that ‘the postwar would not be considered over until Okinawa was returned to Japan.’ His success won him the Nobel Peace Prize.”
In highlighting the significance of celebrating the anniversary of the reversion, he mentioned the 2016 visits of President Obama to Hiroshima and Prime Minister Abe to Pearl Harbor, remarking that “We can learn from history, in order not to repeat mistakes…This is why we need to face history squarely with all humility: not only the history of negative tragic enmity more than seven decades ago, but also the history of positive if painstaking efforts throughout the postwar years.”
The event featured Okinawan food and a special performance by Ryukyu Koku Matsuri Daiko. Special exhibits shared the riches of Okinawan culture as well as the process of transition from U.S. to Japanese governance in 1972 and subsequent years, involving various issues such as roads, currency, and other aspects of day-to-day life.