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HOME  > Past issues  > 2022 April 27 - May 10  > Online rally marking 50 years of Okinawa's reversion to Japan held
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2022 April 27 - May 10 [POLITICS]

Online rally marking 50 years of Okinawa's reversion to Japan held

May 1, 2022
Okinawans on April 30, prior to the 50th anniversary of the reversion of Okinawa to Japan on May 15, held an online rally in Naha City, calling for a truly "peaceful and prosperous Okinawa without military bases" as depicted in the "Proposal of steps for the reversion of Okinawa".

In November 1971, in the runup to the return of Okinawa, Yara Chobyo, the head of the Ryukyu government at that time, submitted to the Japanese government the Proposal outlining a vision for the future of Okinawa: an Okinawa without military bases; the assurance of the basic human rights under the postwar pacifist Constitution; the establishment of local autonomy; and Okinawan-oriented economic development. However, what Okinawans envisioned has not been realized.

The rally adopted a resolution stating, "To achieve 'what Okinawa should be' as entrusted to us by the Yara Proposal is the duty of us alive today."

Taira Kamenosuke who had been involved in drawing up the Proposal as a Ryukyu government official said, "Okinawa's base burdens are increasing rather than decreasing," and pointed to the construction of a new U.S. base in Henoko, the recent deployment of Osprey aircraft, and the construction of a Ground Self-Defense Force missile base. He went on to say, "Our desire was the return of Okinawa in compliance with the pacifist Constitution. Until the measures spelled out in the Yara Proposal are implemented, the Proposal is still valid today."

Ishikawa Genpei who had played a part in Okinawa's reversion movement as a secretary of Yara said that the San Francisco Peace Treaty signed on April 28, 1952 and the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty separated Okinawa from Japan. He said, "It was a day of infamy for Okinawa. The then Prime Minister Yoshida Shigeru alone signed the security treaty while other Japanese plenipotentiaries did not even know of its contents. As a result, even after the U.S. occupation of Japan ended, U.S. bases remain to this day. It was humiliating for not only Okinawa but for Japan as a whole. Japan should recover its sovereignty, in the true sense of the term, from its present state of subservience to the United States."

Past related article:
> US process of building military bases in US-occupied Okinawa violated Hague Land Warfare Ordinance [December 15, 2021]
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