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HOME  > Past issues  > 2014 April 16 - 22  > Sit-in against US base construction marks 10th year
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2014 April 16 - 22 [OKINAWA]

Sit-in against US base construction marks 10th year

April 20, 2014
The sit-in protest against the planned construction of a new U.S. military base off Nago City in Okinawa Prefecture marked 10th anniversary on April 19.

The Japanese and U.S. administrations had agreed to “relocate” the U.S. Futenma Air Station in Okinawa’s Ginowan City to the Henoko district of Nago City. After obtaining an approval to reclaim land for the construction from Okinawa Governor Nakaima Hirokazu at the end of last year, the Abe government is planning to start exploratory drilling at the site as early as next month.

On April 19, more than 300 local residents took part in a rally held in the coastal area of Henoko. After the rally, over 20 fishing boats and canoes staged a demonstration on the sea, calling out, “Don’t fill in the waters!”

At the gathering, Japanese Communist Party member of the House of Representatives Akamine Seiken said, “Let’s push the two administrations to unconditionally close the Futenma base and remove it from Japan.”

Ashitomi Hiroshi, representing the anti-U.S. Heliport Council, the sit-in organizer, called on participants to work together to win the Nago City assembly and gubernatorial elections scheduled for later this year.

Kayou Muneyoshi, a 91-year-old man living in the Henoko district, is one of the protesters who first began to sit down. “Many foreign figures are also encouraging our struggles. We can surely win if we fight with all our might,” he said.

Past related articles:
> City assembly expresses disappointment over state inviting bids for Henoko landfill work [February 4, 2014]
> Okinawans seek revocation of governor’s approval for Henoko reclamation [January 10, 2014]
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