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South Pacific Memorial Park


In the Pacific War, waged from 1941 to 1945, more than 500,000 Japanese lost their lives during combat on the beautiful islands scattered throughout the Pacific Ocean.  In addition, many Americans as well as local people who had lived a peaceful life in this region fell victim to or wounded in the fierce battles during these disastrous years.

This place at the foot of Mt. Matagi, where you are standing, was also the site of sorrowful reminiscences.  Namely, many Japanese soldiers on the garrison duty on Guam Island fought fiercely with U.S. forces here and, in the dawn of August 11, 1944.  Most of them including the commander, General Obata, died a tragic death together.

When the South Pacific Memorial Association Mission (mission leader: Mitsunori Ueki, a member of the House of Councillors) visited Micronesia and Guam to console the souls of the war victims in 1965, Mr. Ueki met Monsignor Oscar L. Calvo here for the first time.  At that time, Monsignor Calvo spoke on the misery of the war in detail and said:  "It is a mournful fact that, after 20 years since the end of the war, we can still find bones of many dead Japanese scattered and left in the jungle or behind the rocks in the very places where these people fell.  I have been hoping to collect these bones and console the souls of the dead in formal funerals as soon as possible."  He then proposed to Mr. Ueki that they both should cooperate in such an undertaking.

Deeply moved by such earnest words, Mr. Ueki voiced his whole-hearted agreement and proposed:  "let us collaborate in building a memorial tower which will heartily console the souls of all the people who perished while dedicating their loyalty to their respective countries, and at the same time symbolize the wishes for friendship between Japan and the U.S. and also for world peace."  They then shook their hands firmly.

After some time, the tower was finally completed in May 1970 supported by the sincere friendship and cooperation of the two persons.  The tower is 50 feet high and has an ossuary in its basement.  Its design is in the shape of palms pressed together in prayer indicating the wishes for consolation of the souls of the dead and for peace as well.

The construction cost as well as its maintenance expenses have been exclusively covered by invaluable donations offered by many people throughout Japan.

We earnestly hope that the construction of this Peace Memorial Park will bring about eternal peace to the souls of the war victims of both Japan and the U.S., and further strengthen the ties of friendship between the two countries.

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