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HOME  > Past issues  > 2010 May 5 - 11  > Hatoyama’s breach of promise arouses anger in Okinawa
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2010 May 5 - 11 [OKINAWA]

Hatoyama’s breach of promise arouses anger in Okinawa

May 5, 2010
Prime Minister Hatoyama Yukio on May 4 visited Okinawa Prefecture to announce the government plan to transfer the U.S. Marines Futenma Air Station functions to another location in the prefecture as well as to Tokunoshima Island in Kagoshima Prefecture. The prime minister explained the plan to Governor Nakaima Hirokazu, Prefectural Assembly members, and mayors of municipalities hosting U.S. military bases as well as local residents.

The Prime Minister’s statement is a blatant breach of his promise in the last general election campaign. He stated that “moving the U.S. Marine Corps Futenma Air Station out of the prefecture or even out of the country is the preferable option.”

Hatoyama heard angry protests by about 500 citizens waiting for him in the morning in front of the prefectural hall in Naha City to meet with the governor and others. A man of 58 said, “The Prime Minister should not be here today but in the United States to inform the U.S. president that Okinawa will not accept a new base.”

Carrying signboards reading “No new bases”, “Neither on sea nor on land” and “ANGER”, Okinawans also held protest rallies in Ginowan City where the prime minster talked with municipality mayors as well as local residents, and in Nago City he met with Mayor Inamine Susumu.

After the talks with Prime Minister Hatoyama, Uruma City Mayor Shimabuku Toshio said, “We were shocked to hear the prime minister asking Okinawa to again shoulder the burden of a base. The opposition to a new base shown by 90,000 Okinawans on April 25 has not been heard by him at all.”

Takamine Yoshinobu, Okinawa Prefectural Assembly chair, asked Hatoyama to retract the government plan to transfer the base within Okinawa.

Nago Mayor Inamine said to Hatoyama, “In the mayoral election in January, I was elected based on my public promise to not allow any new base built in Henoko. The April 25 prefectural people’s rally also expressed clear opposition to a relocation of the Futenma base within the prefecture. You are requested to meet our demands.”

JCP Ichida criticizes Hatoyama

Japanese Communist Party Secretariat Head Ichida Tadayoshi in a news conference in Tokyo criticized Hatoyama’s statement, saying, “Prime Minister Hatoyama himself has openly broken the public promise to transfer the base outside Japan or outside of Okinawa at the least, which was one of the key public promises of the Democratic Party of Japan during the general election campaign. The breach of promise has outrageously trampled on the will of the residents.”

Ichida said, “Nowhere in Japan will residents agree to accept the base. The United States should take it back to America and decide on a location for it there.”

He further refuted Hatoyama’s logic that the base needs to be transferred to maintain deterrence, saying, “U.S. military bases in Japan are used as sortie bases of the U.S. forces for war and aggression abroad.”
-Akahata, May 5, 2010
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