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HOME  > Past issues  > 2018 October 17 - 23  > Shii on BS news program discusses Henoko base issue
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2018 October 17 - 23 [POLITICS]

Shii on BS news program discusses Henoko base issue

October 20, 2018

Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo appeared on a political issues talk show, BS Fuji Live Prime News which aired on October 17, and discussed the Henoko base issue and other political topics such as PM Abe’s intent to revise Article 9 of the Constitution and the next year’s Upper House election.

At the beginning of the program, asked by a program MC about the Abe government’s countermeasure taken against the Okinawa prefectural government’s decision to revoke the Henoko landfill approval, Shii said, “The Abe government used the Administrative Complaint Review Act as a measure to dispute the prefectural government’s decision. The PM Abe-led government disregards the law’s principle of protecting people’s rights from unjust administrative decisions. It is totally unacceptable.”

Regarding the Henoko base issue, program MC Matsuyama Toshiyuki introduced a common argument used by the U.S. that the U.S. Futenma base and its replacement base in Henoko are geopolitically very important to deter any enemy attack. He also said that the Japanese government takes the view that U.S. military bases in Okinawa are necessary in order to deal with the North Korea crisis and other regional as well as non-regional crises.

In response, Shii pointed out, “Now, a historic shift from confrontation to dialogue is occurring on the Korean Peninsula.” He quoted former U.S. Secretary of Defense William Perry as saying that the U.S. Futenma base will no longer be needed when a denuclearized North Korea is realized, and said, “The threat from North Korea doesn’t work anymore as a tool to impose the Henoko base project on Okinawa.”

Matsuyama argued that some say that the U.S. military presence in Okinawa is meaningful in terms of countering China which is a major military power.

Shii pointed out that China’s move to forcibly change the status quo in the East China Sea as well as in the South China Sea is a serious issue. He explained, “The JCP in its 27th Congress criticized China’s attempt as ‘emergence of a new type of great-power chauvinism and hegemonism’. The party has directly conveyed this view to the Communist Party of China.”

Shii continued to say that in the first place this problem must be resolved through diplomacy, but the Japanese government fails to engage in diplomacy in a logical manner. Citing the issue of the Senkaku islands (called Daioyu islands in Chinese) as an example, Shii said, “The Japanese government neglects to make diplomatic efforts to fully convince its Chinese counterpart of Japan’s territorial claim based on history and international law.” He referred to Article 2 of the 40-year-old Japan-China Treaty of Peace and Friendship which stipulates the abandonment of seeking hegemony and the opposition to hegemony, and criticized the Japanese government for showing no willingness to warn China that its move goes against the treaty’s spirit.

Referring to the Japan-U.S. joint military drills in the South China Sea, Shii said, “To take military options as a response to China would make the bilateral relation extremely tense. Japan should respond to China’s actions through dialogue in a reasoned and rational manner.”

Past related articles:
> Okinawans again choose opponent of Henoko project as their governor [October 2, 2018]
> Shii: SDF’s antisubmarine drills in South China Sea do much harm but no good [September 18, 2018]
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