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Sunday, May 23, 2010

Joint Statement by Ginowan and Nago Mayors 宜野湾、名護市長の共同声明

The joint statement of Iha Yoichi, Mayor of Ginowan City, host of Futenma Air Station and Inamine Susume, Mayor of Nago City, where the government eyes on as "relocation" site of Futenma, together issued a statement on May 16, the day 17,000 citizens gathered to form a human chain around the base to show solidarity to call for unconditional return of Futenma. An English translation follows the statement in Japanese.
(Photo by Ryukyu Shimpo)

5.16人間の輪で普天間基地を包囲する県民大行動
普天間飛行場の県内移設に反対する
(宜野湾市・名護市共同声明)

宜野湾市の中心部に位置する普天間飛行場は1996年4月12日に日米両政府が「今後5年ないし7年以内に全面返還する」としたSACO全面返還合意から15年目をむかえた。

SACOにおける普天間飛行場の全面返還合意の原点は、宜野湾市民が晒されている激しい爆音被害といつ墜落するかわからない危険性が同居した生活環境からの解放であり、沖縄県民の基地負担の軽減を図ることであった。

しかし、SACO最終報告で沖縄本島東海岸沖に1500mの撤去可能な代替施設を建設するという普天間飛行場の県内移設条件がつき沖縄県民を大きく失望させた。

一方、移設先とされた名護市では1997年12月に市民投票で移設反対の民意が示されたにも拘らず、名護市民の意向を無視した前自公政権下でアメとムチの政策で地域社会は二分され、歪な社会状況を生み出した。

移設先とされた辺野古では、「オジーやオバー」達が子どもたちや孫たちのために、この14年間にもおよぶヘリ基地建設反対の座り込みを続け、普天間飛行場の代替施設建設を阻止してきた。

今年、1月の名護市長選挙で名護市民は、現行計画に反対し「陸上にも海にも新しい基地を造らせない」とした市長を誕生させた。名護市での県内移設に反対する市民の民意は沖縄県民にとっても勇気と誇りをもって迎えられ、その後の全会一致による沖縄県議会決議で「4.25県民大会」開催への大きなうねりと揺るぎない県民の心を一つにし、日米両政府へ明確な沖縄県民の県内移設反対の意志を示す大きな動きをつくりだした。

私たちは、名護市民や宜野湾市民のためにも沖縄の未来のためにも基地の無い平和に暮らせる沖縄を取り戻さなければならない。そのためにも、新たな米軍基地を断固として造らせてはならない。

日米両政府は、国土面積の0.6%に過ぎない小さな沖縄に沖縄県民の人権と環境を無視して、新基地を建設すべきではない。ジュゴンの棲む美ら海を破壊し、住民に被害を与え続ける普天間飛行場の代替施設の県内移設を断念すべきである。

危険な普天間飛行場は一日も早く閉鎖・返還されるべきである。日米両政府が安全保障や抑止力を理由に普天間飛行場の代替施設の県内移設を行わず、県民の基地負担の軽減を行い、住民の安全・安心の保障を最優先に確立するべきである。

私たちは、今後とも普天間飛行場の危険性除去と早期閉鎖・返還をめざすと共に、鳩山政権が画策する名護市辺野古を含め県内移設に反対する決意を確認し、県内移設によらず、米国が進める沖縄からグアムやテニアンへの海兵隊移転計画を政府として検証し対米交渉に強く臨むべきである。

宜野湾市・名護市は、本日の「5.16人間の輪で普天間基地を包囲する県民大行動」を機にお互いに手を結び、普天間飛行場の県内移設に反対する宜野湾市・名護市の共同声明とする。


2010年5月16日
宜野湾市長 伊 波 洋 一
名護市長 稲 嶺 進



Joint Statement by Ginowan and Nago City Mayors to Oppose the Construction of
Futenma Replacement Facility within Okinawa
(Issued on the day of the Futenma Human Chain Campaign, May 16, 2010)


Over fourteen years have passed since the Special Action Committee on Okinawa (SACO) agreement was concluded by the United States and Japanese Governments. In this agreement, both governments promised to return the entire land of the US Marine Corps Futenma Air Station, located in the middle of heavily populated Ginowan City, within five to seven years. However, both governments have failed to implement the agreement, and as a result, Futenma Air Station still remains within the city as it was fourteen years ago.

The initial goal of the SACO agreement was to ensure safety of the people of Ginowan by removing the dangerous Futenma Air Station, which produces enormous aircraft noises and poses constant risk of an aircraft crash. This also includes reducing the burden on the people of Okinawa caused by disproportionately concentrated US military bases on this small island.

In the SACO final report in December 1996, however, both US and Japanese Governments set terms that the land of the air station should be returned after a removable Futenma replacement facility, with a 1500-meter runway, was constructed within Henoko, Nago City on the east coast of the main island, Okinawa. This decision greatly disappointed the people of Okinawa.

Although Nago citizens expressed their opposition against the relocation of the air base in a referendum in December 1997, the former Liberal Democratic Party(LDP)-led administration divided citizens by using a carrot-and-stick policy, which consisted of offering government subsidies in return for cooperation with the wills of US and Japanese Governments. As a result of the LDP policy, an unhealthy and tense situation developed in the local community.

“Ojii and Obaa” (grandfathers and grandmothers) in Henoko, backed by various supporters, have continued a sit-in campaign, against the construction of the Futenma replacement facility, for their children and grandchildren for fourteen years. This prolonged sit-in has effectively blocked progress on the project.

In the Nago mayoral election this past January, a candidate, who pledged not to allow the construction of a new US military base either on land or sea, was voted into office. Nago citizens, in this election, showed their strong will to fight against the relocation of Futenma Air Station within Okinawa. A majority of Okinawan people were encouraged and proud of the election result, which paved the way for a unanimous decision by the Okinawa Prefectural Assembly to hold the “4. 25 Kenmin-Taikai” (April 25th prefecture-wide rally) in order for the people of Okinawa to express their unwavering clear opposition against the Futenma base relocation within Okinawa.

We have no other recourse than to retrieve the peaceful island life without military bases for our citizens, as well as for the future of Okinawa. To this end, we have decisively concluded that there shouldn’t be any new US military bases constructed within the prefecture. Okinawa is a small island consisting of only 0.6 percent of the total land mass of Japan. Further new construction of military bases shows complete disregard for the human rights of this small community, who have unwillingly hosted the US military for over 60 years. There is also total disregard for the environmental impact which would fatally disrupt the habitat of the endangered Okinawa Dugong in the beautiful ocean surrounding Okinawa.

The danger-plagued FAS should be removed without any delay from Ginowan City. Both governments must prioritize safety and security of the people of Okinawa by abandoning the project and not continuing to promote Okinawa as being essential to regional security and a deterrence to regional threats. We will step up for calling for the removal of dangerous military air operations from Futenma Air Station and immediate closure and return of the base.

Now, we announce our strong resolution to oppose any plan on the base relocation within Okinawa, including the Hatoyama administration plan currently nearing completion. The Japanese Government should review and see the real picture of the plan on the relocation of 8,000 Marines from Okinawa to Guam, and strongly negotiate with the US Government regarding the immediate and unconditional closure of Futenma Air Station.

The Ginowan and Nago City Governments used today’s event to continue working hand-in-hand and cooperate in voicing opposition to the base relocation within Okinawa.

Yoichi IHA
Mayor, Ginowan City
Okinawa, Japan

Susumu INAMINE
Mayor, Nago City
Okinawa, Japan

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