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HOME  > Past issues  > 2018 October 10 - 16  > Okinawans mourn former Governor Onaga who resisted Henoko project
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2018 October 10 - 16 [POLITICS]

Okinawans mourn former Governor Onaga who resisted Henoko project

October 10, 2018

Okinawans mourned late Governor Onaga Takeshi, who had striven to block the construction of a U.S. base in Nago’s Henoko district until his death in August. Around 3,000 people, including invited guests, came to a public funeral ceremony hosted by the Okinawa prefectural government in Naha City on October 9.

From the Japanese Communist Party, together with Chair Shii Kazuo, Secretariat Head Koike Akira, Diet Policy Commission Chair Kokuta Keiji, the House of Representatives member Akamine Seiken, and former Lower House member Furugen Saneyoshi attended the ceremony and offered flowers before the deceased.

After the ceremony, asked by the press for a comment, Shii said that he has become even more convinced that Onaga will be remembered as a great leader in Okinawa’s history. Shii stated that Onaga had tenaciously opposed the Henoko project and that his consistent efforts laid the groundwork for the victory of anti-base candidate Tamaki Denny in the gubernatorial election last month.

Noting that Tamaki defeated his rivals by a large margin in the election, Shii said that as voters clearly expressed their opposition to the Henoko base construction, the national government should stop high-handedly pushing forward with the construction. Shii stressed that the Japanese government should be held responsible for negotiating with the U.S. side on the Henoko issue in line with Okinawans’ will.

In November 2014, pledging to stop the controversial Henoko project, Onaga ran and won over the pro-base incumbent governor in the gubernatorial race. Since then, he had led the “All Okinawa” movement opposing the planned construction until he died of cancer in office in August.

Past related articles:
> Okinawans again choose opponent of Henoko project as their governor [October 2, 2018]
> We will never extinguish anti-base 'All Okinawa' flame: Okinawans on the death of Gov. Onaga [August 10, 2018]
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