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HOME  > Past issues  > 2015 April 15 - 21  > Onaga requests PM to convey Okinawa’s opposition to new US base to Obama
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2015 April 15 - 21 TOP3 [POLITICS]

Onaga requests PM to convey Okinawa’s opposition to new US base to Obama

April 18, 2015

Okinawa Governor Onaga Takeshi on April 17 visited Prime Minister Abe Shinzo at his office in Tokyo, requesting that Okinawa’s opposition to the construction of a new U.S. base in Henoko be conveyed to the U.S. president during the PM’s visit to Washington at the end of the month.

In response to the governor’s request, PM Abe maintained that the base construction in Henoko is the only way to reduce Okinawa’s base burdens and that it would be better for Okinawa to accept the base construction in exchange for state financial support for Okinawa’s development.

Onaga countered, “Okinawan people never offered to relinquish their land to be used as bases. The central government should reject the new Henoko base plan.”

This is the first Onaga-Abe talks after the Onaga administration came into office in December last year because Prime Minister Abe has refused to meet with anti-base governor.

While the Onaga-Abe talks were taking place, anti-base citizens carried out actions to encourage Onaga both in Tokyo and in Okinawa.

In front of the Prime Minister’s Office where Okinawa delegation and state leaders were meeting, holding placards that read, “No! U.S. base in Henoko!” and “Don’t ignore the Okinawans’ voice!”, 200 citizens assembled and expressed their support to Onaga. Representing the Japanese Communist Party, 12 Dietmembers joined this action.

Meanwhile, in Okinawa’s Nago City, outside the gates of U.S. Camp Schwab which includes the new base construction site, anti-base sit-in protesters held a rally to give their support to the governor.

Nago City Mayor Inamine Susumu later on the same day said to reporters that Prime Minister Abe should respond to Onaga’s request in a sincere manner.

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