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HOME  > Past issues  > 2023 September 20 - 26  > Okinawans form new group to prevent Okinawa from again being used as a battlefield
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2023 September 20 - 26 TOP3 [POLITICS]

Okinawans form new group to prevent Okinawa from again being used as a battlefield

September 25, 2023

With the Kishida government promoting a major military buildup in the Nansei Islands, Okinawan civic groups and individuals have launched a new organization in order to prevent Okinawa from again being turned into a battlefield.

On September 24, the inaugural meeting took place in Okinawa City with the participation of about 800 Okinawans. They adopted a declaration which pledges their commitment to appealing to as many people as possible that trust-building dialogues can be the only pathway to peace.

Co-leader of the new organization which consists of individual Okinawans and 63 civic groups, Gushiken Takamatsu, who works to excavate and return the remains of the Okinawa Battle dead to the bereaved families, stated that they will stand in solidarity with the peoples in Asia-Pacific countries in order to prevent war and will keep supporting anti-base Okinawa Governor Tamaki Denny.

Japanese Communist Party member of the House of Representatives Akamine Seiken, on behalf of opposition party Dietmembers elected from Okinawa, delivered a guest speech in solidarity. He said, "We should never allow the central government to prepare public support for the 'new prewar days'."

Representing the ruling parties in the Okinawa Prefectural Assembly, JCP assemblyperson Toguchi Osamu said, "Let us rise up and voice our opposition from Okinawa at the grassroots level against the preparations for war!"

Representatives of the "All Okinawa Council", a group working for the preservation of battle sites in Okinawa, and an Okinawa City citizens' network spoke in solidarity. Residents from Yonaguni Island, Miyako-jima Island, Ishigaki-jima Island, Uruma City, and Okinawa City reported on their movements and actions taken in opposition to the deployment of missile bases or to the strengthening of military facilities.

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