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HOME  > Past issues  > 2019 June 19 - 25  > Okinawa Governor to Foreign Minister: stop Henoko base construction work
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2019 June 19 - 25 [POLITICS]

Okinawa Governor to Foreign Minister: stop Henoko base construction work

June 23, 2019

Okinawa Governor Tamaki Denny on June 22 met with Foreign Minister Kono Taro at the prefectural government office building and reiterated Okinawan's demand for the cancellation of the construction of a new U.S. base in Nago City's Henoko.

Governor Tamaki also demanded that on-site inspections of U.S. military bases be carried out to determine the cause of the toxic water detected near these facilities, and that the central government call on the U.S. administration to revise the Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement.

Tamaki pointed to a series of U.S. military-related incidents and crimes, such as murder cases of women by U.S. servicemen or civilian employees, noise pollution from U.S. bases, and aircraft parts-drop accidents. The governor said, "All these occurred because of the existence of military bases, endangering the lives of prefectural people. Okinawans are also very concerned about toxic pollutants in water."

In regard to the construction of a U.S. base in Henoko, he said, "An overwhelming majority of Okinawans in the referendum expressed their opposition to the Henoko project. Public opinion is very important. So, taking the demands of Okinawans seriously, the central government should hold discussions with Okinawa to resolve the base issue.

Foreign Minister Kono in response said, "We will do what we can. Regarding safety concerns, we will responsibly lodge complaints to the U.S. military." However, he did not touch on the Henoko base issue or the need for a SOFA revision.

Past related articles:
> Flights of US military aircraft threaten Okinawa children’s safety [June 7, 2019]
> US military helicopter drops part on schoolyard of junior high school in Okinawa [June 6, 2019]
> Water around US bases in Okinawa contaminated with PFOS/PFOA [May 30, 2019]
> Okinawa confronts PM Abe with overwhelming ‘No’ in Henoko referendum [February 25, 2019]
> Okinawa JCP protests against murder of Okinawan woman by US sailor [April 18, 2019]
> Heads of 9 universities in Okinawa demand that US military aircraft stop flying over their campuses [October 28, 2018]

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