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HOME  > Past issues  > 2019 January 30 - February 5  >  Revised ordinance will open door to ‘prefecture-wide’ referendum over Henoko base project
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2019 January 30 - February 5 [POLITICS]

Revised ordinance will open door to ‘prefecture-wide’ referendum over Henoko base project

January 30, 2019
The Okinawa Prefectural Assembly on January 29 at an extraordinary plenary meeting approved a bill for partial amendments to the prefectural ordinance on the Henoko referendum by majority vote, including that of the Liberal Democratic Party. This increased the possibility that the five cities currently opting out of the referendum will participate.

Under the revised ordinance, voters in the referendum will express their opinion on the construction of a new U.S. base in the Henoko district by making a choice among three alternatives: “Agree”; “Disagree”; and “Neither agree nor disagree”

Governor Tamaki Denny later in the same day issued a comment saying, “It is significant that the revision bill was supported by a majority of assemblypersons, even LDP assemblymembers.” The governor expressed his determination to continue calling on “all municipalities” to take part in the three-option referendum.

The revision of the ordinance took place with the aim of encouraging the five cities to take part in the referendum. If these cities stick to their position to not participate, this means that 30% of the total electorate may be denied their right to vote.

Representatives of political parties in the prefectural assembly on January 24 held a meeting to discuss ways to overcome the problem. They agreed to approve “unanimously” a bill to add another option to the initially-planned two-option referendum. However, at the January 29 plenary meeting, some LDP assemblypersons either opposed the bill or walked out before the vote.

Following the approval of the bill, the leader of a civil group which worked to establish the ordinance on the Henoko referendum, Motoyama Jinshiro, said to the press, “I hope many voters will cast their ballots in the referendum. In order to achieve this, we’ll continue making efforts so all eligible voters will be allowed to vote.”

Past related articles:
> Citizens of Okinawa's 5 cities abstaining from Henoko vote demand equal opportunity to vote on the referendum [January 16 & 17, 2019]
> LDP Dietmember teaches LDP municipal assemblypersons in Okinawa how to block Henoko referendum [January 14 & 15, 2019]
> Okinawa governor requests Miyakojima mayor to rethink his refusal to participate in Henoko referendum [January 10, 2019]

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