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
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.