June 13, 2013 Ryukyu Shimpo
On June 12, Katsue Shingaki Garner, a 75-year-old resident of Georgia, United States, who is originally from Nishihara Cho, added her name to the list of plaintiffs in the lawsuit called Nuchidu-Takara. The group seeks an apology from the central government and compensation for civilian casualties in the Battle of Okinawa. She lost both her parents in the war – her mother in the Battle of Okinawa, and her father in an air raid on Palau. Shingaki is the first person living abroad to join this collective lawsuit. The fourth group of plaintiffs, including her, will file the suit with the Naha District Court on August 15.
Her father Kama was killed at Palau in an air raid on October 13, 1944, and her mother Hideko died in the former Ozato Village (now Nanjo City), on June 10, 1945. Shingaki moved to the United States in 1965. She learned of the lawsuit when her daughter read the article on the Ryukyu Shimpo English news site about the press conference held in December 2011 covering the Okinawa War Victim Group.
Shingaki said, “I want to let other people to know about the lawsuit, and for them to speak up and be heard.”
A total of 63 people joined the plaintiff group for the first, second and the third lawsuits. Shigeru Zukeyama, the lead attorney of the War Victim Group said, “If many people come together and raise their voices, public opinion will move. We want those people who hesitate to come forward to join us.”
Inquiries should be directed to the Zukeyama Law Office (phone) 098 (833) 7447.
(English translation by T&CT, Mark Ealey)