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HOME  > Past issues  > 2019 September 18 - 24  > Ishigaki islanders seek referendum on deployment of GSDF missile base
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2019 September 18 - 24 [SDF]

Ishigaki islanders seek referendum on deployment of GSDF missile base

September 20, 2019

A group of Ishigaki City citizens in Okinawa, seeking a referendum based on a city ordinance, filed a lawsuit against the city government with the Naha District Court on September 19 in regard to the deployment of a Ground Self-Defense Force missile base to the city.

The national government is planning to set up a GSDF missile facility on the island of Ishigaki.

Regarding this deployment plan, the civic group has collected signatures calling for a referendum, and nearly 40% of eligible voters of the island already signed the petition.

Ishigaki City's Fundamental Autonomy Ordinance requires the city mayor to call for a referendum in response to the submission of signatures of more than one fourth of eligible voters. The ordinance also stipulates that the city mayor has a formal obligation to hold a referendum even if the city assembly rejects a proposal for the referendum.

Mayor Nakayama Yoshitaka, however, expressed a negative opinion toward conducting a referendum by insisting, "The signatures collected are invalid," on the grounds that the city assembly in February turned down an ordinance procedure bill to hold a referendum.

The group claims that the mayor's position is in violation of the basic autonomy ordinance and demands that the mayor fulfil his obligation in accordance with the ordinance.
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