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Places in Saipan: The Okinawa Peace Memorial

Basic Information

Picture from the Last Command Post

Narrative

After finishing checking out the Korean Peace Memorial I next walked over to the adjacent Okinawa Peace Memorial.  The memorial is dedicated to all the Okinawans that lost their life during the Battle of Saipan that occurred on June 15, 1944.  Okinawa was incorporated into the Japanese Empire back in 1872 and when Saipan became Japanese territory as an aftermath of World War I Okinawans came to the island to work in the sugar cane industry where many of them lost their lives during the battle or jumped to their deaths due to the belief that the Americans would rape and kill them if captured.

Picture from the Last Command Post

Unlike the Korean memorial this one was not as elaborate and did not have any English markers to explain the memorial.  However, the setting of the memorial is just as scenic as the Korean memorial since it is backdropped by the impressive Mt. Marpi:

Picture from the Last Command Post

Mt. Marpi is an 800 foot cliff more commonly referred to as “Suicide Cliff” since it is where hundreds of Japanese soldiers and civilians jumped to their deaths instead of surrendering to US forces during the Battle of Saipan.  Here is a picture Mt. Marpi from the nearby Veterans’ Cemetery:

Conclusion

The Okinawa Peace Memorial is part of a larger peace park in northern Saipan.  It is well worth stopping here to see the Korean Peace Memorial, the Okinawa Peace Memorial, the Monument to the War Dead in the Mid-Pacific and the Last Command Post.  After viewing the memorials at this park the nearby Banzai Cliff and Suicide Cliff can be driven to that offer spectacular views of northern Saipan.

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