June 21, time to remember...
On June 21, 1945, Japanese troops surrendered the Pacific Island of Okinawa to the United States after one of the longest and bloodiest battles of World War II. Having recovered the South Pacific islands from Japanese control, the United States was ready next to launch an onslaught on the Japanese mainland
The American strategy for conquering Japan was to capture a succession of weaker Japanese outposts, "island-hopping" toward the Japanese mainland. Slowly, in many bloody battles in the Pacific jungle, at Guadalcanal, the Solomon Islands, the Philippines and Iwo Jima, the U.S. forces wrested the Pacific territory from the Japanese, island by island.
On April 1, 1945, 60,000 U.S. troops landed on the beaches, where they met with little resistance. However, more than 75,000 Japanese troops were on the island under the command of Lieutenant General Ushijima Mitsuru, who withdrew his soldiers to the southern section of the island. There, the Japanese held out for nearly three months, hiding in the jungle, in caves, and engaging the Americans in intense guerilla warfare.
On June 21, Lieutenant General Ushijima Mitsuru surrendered Okinawa to the United States. The next day he committed suicide. The United States had taken the island with the loss of 12,000 American lives and 100,000 Japanese lives. Still Japan refused to concede that the Second World War was in effect over. The ultimate surrender of Japan to the Allies would be, according to Japanese cultural norms, an unthinkable dishonor.