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HOME  > Past issues  > 2019 December 11 - 17  > LDP’s attempt to block local referendum over SDF base construction in Ishigaki City foiled
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2019 December 11 - 17 TOP3 [SDF]

LDP’s attempt to block local referendum over SDF base construction in Ishigaki City foiled

December 17, 2019

The Liberal Democratic Party in the Ishigaki City Assembly in Okinawa on December 16 suffered a defeat in its attempt to block citizens’ demand for a referendum in regard to the Abe government plan to construct a Self-Defense Forces base in the city.

The city assembly on this day rejected an LDP-proposed bill to abolish the city’s Fundamental Autonomy Ordinance which requires the mayor to hold a referendum in response to a petition by residents which fulfills all requirements, including collecting signatures from one-fourth of all eligible voters in the city.

Last year, a civil group opposing the construction of the SDF base gathered petition signatures from 40% of the electorate and submitted it to Mayor Nakayama Yoshitaka demanding a referendum over the SDF base construction plan.

However, the mayor, who supports the SDF missile base construction, has yet to call a referendum.

With many citizens staging a protest against the LDP-proposed bill near the city assembly hall from early morning, the bill was blocked by a narrow margin of one vote (10-11). After the assembly meeting, Mayor Nakayama told the press that he will respect the vote result.

A woman who observed the meeting in the public seating gallery said that citizens’ movements succeeded in protecting the basic autonomy ordinance and expressed her hope that the city will now hold a referendum in response to residents’ demand.

Past related article:
> Ishigaki islanders seek referendum on deployment of GSDF missile base [September 20, 2019]
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