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HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 November 25 - December 1  > Rally held to oppose use of soil from 'killing zone' in Battle of Okinawa for Henoko base project
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2020 November 25 - December 1 [POLITICS]

Rally held to oppose use of soil from 'killing zone' in Battle of Okinawa for Henoko base project

November 28 & 30, 2020
Local activists of the “All Okinawa Council against Henoko New Base” in Yaese Town on November 28 held a rally to oppose the central government’s plan to collect landfill materials for the Henoko base project in the town and its neighboring city of Itoman which are known as the former killing zone in the Battle of Okinawa which took place in the last stages of WWII.

According to the government plan, 70% of the quantity required for the reclamation work will be gathered from the two municipalities. This plan aroused local criticism for using sand and soil collected from the area where the remains of Okinawans killed during a fierce battle in the Battle of Okinawa have yet to be excavated.

In the rally, Gushiken Takamatsu who heads a volunteer group in Okinawa working to return the remains of the war dead to the bereaved families talked about this issue. Gushiken said that the digging of landfill materials at this location could negate the possibility of recovering the remains.

A 63-year-old participant, Kamiya Eiko, said to Akahata that the remains of her grandfather who was killed in the Battle of Okinawa has yet to be found. She added, “I want to share what I learned today with families who are in a similar situation like me and work together with them to oppose the central government plan.”

On the following day, “All Okinawa Council” members in Itoman City submitted to the mayor and the city assembly head a written demand calling for resisting using sand and soil from the killing zone in the Battle of Okinawa.

The written demand points out that the large number of human remains of the war dead remain undiscovered in the area consisting of the city and Yaese Town. It stresses that sand and soil gathered in this area may contain such bones, and demands a measure to prevent the use of these materials for the Henoko reclamation work.

Past related article:
> Okinawans angry at Defense Ministry intent to use earth from killing zone in WWII for Henoko US base project [September 18, 2020]
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