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HOME  > Past issues  > 2014 July 23 - 29  > Okinawans unite to oppose new US base, going beyond political differences
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2014 July 23 - 29 [POLITICS]

Okinawans unite to oppose new US base, going beyond political differences

July 28, 2014
Okinawans have formed a group to achieve the goals of a petition which was jointly proposed by leaders of all 41 municipalities in Okinawa Prefecture in January 2013 to oppose a plan to relocate the U.S. Futenma base within the prefecture.

Going beyond differences in political party preferences, around 2,000 citizens on July 27 held the inaugural meeting of the organization in Ginowan City.

Ten co-heads of the group delivered speeches. Executive chairman of Kanehide Holdings Goya Morimasa said, “The economy is important, but Okinawans’ dignity and our peaceful livelihoods are much more important.” Nakazato Toshinobu, former advisor to the Liberal Democratic Party Okinawa Prefectural Federation, said that divisions between right and left within Okinawa will only favor the central government.

Japanese Communist Party member of the Okinawa Prefectural Assembly Toguchi Osamu stressed, “Even if the Abe government forcibly starts the construction of a new U.S. base in the Henoko district in Nago City, we will not give up.”

Kinjo Toru, representative of the LDP members’ group of the Naha City Assembly, said, “A number of LDP supporters oppose the plan to construct a U.S. base in Henoko. Let’s gather the voices of local residents to put a stop to the construction.”

Nago City Mayor Inamine Susumu and JCP member of the House of Representatives Akamine Seiken also took part in the meeting.

One of the participants, a woman in her 60s living in Nanjo City, said, “We want to show our firm resolution to oppose the new U.S. base.” A man from Naha City in his 30s said, “Okinawans were disappointed when the Okinawa governor approved the central government’s plan to construct a military base in the Henoko district. The need now is to clearly express our opposition in the upcoming gubernatorial election slated for November.”

Past related article:
> Okinawan delegation directly urges PM Abe to remove Osprey [January 29, 2013]
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