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HOME  > Past issues  > 2019 November 6 - 12  > Peace Conference in Okinawa calls for action to inspire solidarity with anti-Henoko base efforts nationwide
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2019 November 6 - 12 [PEACE]

Peace Conference in Okinawa calls for action to inspire solidarity with anti-Henoko base efforts nationwide

November 9 & 10, 2019
The 2019 Japan Peace Conference on November 9 ended its two-day program of events in Okinawa in solidarity with local protests against the construction of a new U.S. base in Henoko.

On the first day, prior to the plenary rally of the Peace Conference, participants from outside Okinawa visited a sit-in tent-village at Henoko beach near the new base construction site to join in the protest. After that, in front of a gate of U.S. Camp Schwab adjacent to the construction site, they expressed their support for local protesters by offering heartfelt encouragement.

In the plenary rally, Okinawa Governor Tamaki Denny appeared on the stage as a guest. Delivering a speech, Tamaki asked for cooperation for the prefectural government’s efforts to rebuild Shuri castle which burned down last week. Regarding the Henoko base project, the governor said, “I repeatedly called on the Abe government to engage in dialogue as the only way to resolve the Henoko base issue. However, it continues to ignore the demands of Okinawans.” He expressed his determination to fight for the cancellation of the Henoko project and an early return of the U.S. Futenma base and said, “Believe in the power of democracy, let’s keep moving forward toward our goal!”

On behalf of the organizers, Japan Peace Committee Secretary General Chisaka Jun said, “Let us acknowledge the significance of Okinawans’ anti-base struggles and increase our efforts to inspire solidarity with Okinawa throughout the nation.” In the rally, more than 610,000 yen in donations for the reconstruction of Shuri castle were collected.

As the main event of the second day, an international symposium took place under the theme, “Establish peaceful, non-nuclear northeast Asia through grassroots solidarity between Japan and South Korea”.

One of panelists, Oh Hye-ran of the South Korean NGO, Solidarity for Peace and Reunification of Korea (SPARK), pointed out that the denuclearization and peace settlement of the Korean Peninsula conflicts with the existence of the Korea-U.S. military alliance. JPC Executive Director Kawada Tadaaki spoke about the prospects of establishing peace in northeast Asia and abrogating the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty. He also stressed the need to promote solidarity between Japanese and South Korean citizens.

After the closing plenary, the participants paraded through the downtown streets of Naha City, chanting, “No! Henoko base!” “Promote Japan-South Korea grassroots solidarity!”

Past related article:
> Marchers’ chants of ‘Protect Article 9!’ round off 2017 Japan Peace Conference in Yamaguchi [October 29 and 30, 2017]
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