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HOME  > Past issues  > 2018 June 20 - 26  > Abe on day of Okinawa battle memorial: gov't sticks to Henoko base plan
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2018 June 20 - 26 [US FORCES]

Abe on day of Okinawa battle memorial: gov't sticks to Henoko base plan

June 24, 2018

Prime Minister Abe Shinzo on June 23 in Okinawa, right after expressing his resolve to not repeat the horrors of war, said that the government will have soil and sand carried in this summer to reclaim areas off Henoko in Okinawa's Nago City in order to construct a new U.S. military base.

A memorial service for the war dead from the Battle of Okinawa during WWII took place in the Peace Memorial Park in Itoman City in Okinawa on the same day with 5,100 people participating, calling for lasting peace. Prime Minister Abe and the chairpersons of both chambers of the Diet attended the service. Japanese Communist Party member of the House of Representatives Akamine Seiken also took part in the ceremony along with other Okinawa-elected Dietmembers.

PM Abe in his speech mentioned that the people of Okinawa have been bearing a great deal of base burdens for a long time and said, "To reduce your burden, the government will certainly produce results." Abe was jeered and heckled "Lier!" when he mentioned the reduction of Okinawa's base-hosting burden.

After his address, Abe told the press that the government is planning to start reclamation work in the coastal area of Henoko on August 17, indicating that his regime will stick to the construction of a U.S. base in Henoko as a replacement for the U.S. Futenma base in Ginowan City.

In contrast, Okinawa Governor Onaga Takeshi in his address said that the Henoko base construction "is running counter to the move toward easing tensions in Asia" while referring to the recent Kim-Moon and Kim-Trump summit meetings. When Onaga urged the central government to abandon the construction plan, the attendees gave him a big round of applause.

Miyagi Tokumasa, the head of a surviving families association, in his eulogy said, "As a family member of victims of the Okinawa Battle, I am absolutely opposed to the base construction as it may be used for another war."
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