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HOME  > Past issues  > 2019 March 13 - 19  > 10,000 Okinawans rally to oppose Henoko base construction
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2019 March 13 - 19 [POLITICS]

10,000 Okinawans rally to oppose Henoko base construction

March 18, 2019

More than 10,000 Okinawans on March 16 held a rally in Naha City to oppose the construction of a new U.S. base in the Henoko district. They adopted a resolution demanding the cancellation of the construction and the immediate closure of the U.S. Futenma base in line with the February referendum results.

The Abe government which is pushing ahead with the reclamation work at Henoko plans to start pouring sand and dirt in a new section of the landfill site next week.

Inamine Susumu gave a speech on behalf of the organizer, the “All Okinawa” council to oppose the Henoko base construction. He said that it will consume a huge amount of taxpayers’ money and at least 13 years to complete the construction. This means, he went on to say, that the Futenma base will remain for 13 more years or longer. Inamine stated that the planned relocation of the Futenma base to Henoko is utterly unjustifiable. He called on rally participants to keep working together for the cancellation of the construction plan.

Governor Tamaki Denny was not present at the rally, but this message was read out by Vice Governor Jahana Kiichiro. Tamaki in his message said that he will respect the outcome of last month’s prefectural referendum over the Henoko base issue in which an overwhelming majority of voters expressed their opposition to the base construction. Tamaki stressed that he will continue to urge the Japanese and U.S. governments to give up on the base construction. Tamaki put forward an idea of creating a new framework of dialogue, SACO with Okinawa (SACWO) to replace the existing Special Action Committee on Okinawa (SACO).

Dietmembers and prefectural assembly members of political parties, including Japanese Communist Party member of the House of Representatives Akamine Seiken, also attended the rally.
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