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A historic bell from the Luchu (Ryukyu) Kingdom has been returned to Okinawa after having been stolen by a U.S. soldier during the Battle of Okinawa in 1945. The soldier was Lieutenant General Roy Geiger, who took advantage of the destruction in Okinawa caused by the U.S. and Japanese war to steal the bell from Luchuans (Ryukyuans). It later came to be possessed by Geiger's granddaughter, Melanie Curtis.
Shizuo Kishaba is chairman of the Ryumai History Study Group and negotiated the return of the bell. Curtis was initially reluctant to return the stolen item, but agreed to do so after learning of the destruction of Shuri Castle in October 2019 that destroyed some historic Luchuan artifacts.
On November 2, a ceremony was held at Okinawa Prefectural Museum and Art Museum to commemorate the bell's return.
The United States and Japan each owe Luchuans trillions of dollars in reparations for the harm they have caused since 1945 and 1879, respectively. Luchu is recognized by international law as an independent country, and has been under illegal occupation by the U.S. and Japan, both of whom commit major human rights violations against Luchuans on a daily basis.
The United Nations and the international community at large must immediately act to protect the rights of the Luchuan people.