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HOME  > Past issues  > 2015 April 22 - 28  > Anti-base residents’ councils established in Okinawa
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2015 April 22 - 28 [POLITICS]

Anti-base residents’ councils established in Okinawa

April 25&26, 2015
Amid the upsurge of Okinawan opposition to the construction of a new U.S. base in Nago’s Henoko district, a residents’ council was established on April 24 in Okinawa City.

About 600 people took part in the council’s inaugural meeting held on the same day. Japanese Communist Party member of the Okinawa Prefectural Assembly Kayo Sogi will head the council jointly with two other political party members in the assembly and People’s Life Party parliamentarian Tamaki Denny.

In Okinawa, public movements to set up such an organization at the municipal level are spreading throughout the prefecture.

So far, residents’ councils have been established in nine municipalities, including Uruma and Okinawa cities, Chatan Town, and Yomitan Village. After the Governor-Prime Minister talks, this move has accelerated. In Ginowan City, which hosts the U.S. Marine Corps Futenma Air Station, as well as in Nago and Naha cities, residents are planning to establish similar organizations.

Regarding these public movements, JCP Kayo said, “Okinawans’ struggle against the Henoko base construction has entered a new stage.”

Anti-U.S. heliport council co-leader Ashitomi Hiroshi pointed out that the atmosphere surrounding the anti-base movement changed drastically compared to the situation in 1996 when the movement began. “Nowadays, business people and conservatives in the prefecture have joined us movement activists in the fight against the state policy. The anti-Henoko base struggle is also spreading at the grass-roots level. Opposition to the Henoko base construction became a united prefectural movement in the true sense of term,” he said.

Past related article:
> Okinawans launch ‘Henoko Fund’ to block base construction [April 10, 2015]
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