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HOME  > Past issues  > 2015 May 27 - June 2  > Local residents form group to protect their hometowns from having hand in supporting wars
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2015 May 27 - June 2 [POLITICS]

Local residents form group to protect their hometowns from having hand in supporting wars

June 1, 2015
Under the slogan, “We will never allow our homeland to have a hand in supporting wars,” residents in western Japan formed a national liaison council on May 31 to oppose sand and gravel mining reportedly in their hometowns for reclamation of the sea off Henoko (Okinawa Pref.) to construct a new U.S. military base.

They criticize the new base construction as destroying the natural environment of not only Okinawa overall but also their hometowns in specific. They criticize the mining of sand and earth in their hometowns as forcibly involving local people indirectly in the construction of a military base.

They said they will conduct a nationwide signature-collection campaign opposing the transport of sand and gravel from the mining sites located in their hometowns.

At an inauguration meeting held in Amami City in Kagoshima, representatives of each area reported on the present situation. They are coastal residents of Amami Islands (Kagoshima Pref.), Shikoku and Chugoku regions, Kitakyushu City (Fukuoka Pref.), and Amakusa City (Kumamoto Pref.)

Sakae Kiyoyasu from the Amami Islands said, “It’s hard to speak out in public against the government plan in my small village, but I want to raise my voice in protest together with people around the country.”

Abe Etsuko from the Seto Inland Sea region said, “We don’t want to see the natural environment in our hometown destroyed. We don’t want to be facilitators.”

Visiting Kagoshima to inspect one of the mining sites there, five Okinawa Prefectural Assembly members, including Japanese Communist Party Kayo Sogi, were also present at the inauguration meeting to encourage this struggle.
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