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Friday, December 25, 2009

A Beautiful Henoko

Yumiko, Tomo and I went to Henoko, where people have been sitting in for the last eight years to stop the construction of a new U.S. military base. December 25, 2009 - the Christmas Day. The Henoko Beach Cat?
I should have brought my son.
"The seashore is the treasure of all. Please bring garbage home. - Environment and Publish Health Division of Nago City." With the hand-written note, it reas "Please bring bases and garbage home."

"Remove Futenma Base! Stop the construction of a new base in Henoko! " - a teachers' union in Okinawa.

A nature's playground.
The "Tent Village"
I heard that the activists learned to canoe, dive, and drive boats to stop the base construction work.
People come here from all over Japan and abroad to make these statements that they want Henoko to be as quiet and beautiful as it is now. I heard that people have moved from other parts of Japan to protect Henoko.

Activists have been sitting in on the shore of Henoko for over 2,000 days.
I know no matter how long I stay here in Okinawa, I won't be able to fully understand the centuries of oppression, unspeakable horrors of war and the continuing humiliation from the military occupation that Okinawans have gone through.
But I know that I don't have to stay here more than one day to know that we don't need another military base in Okinawa.
If you have any doubt, just come and see for yourself.
Those who need "deterrence" can build a base in their own backyard.

1 comment:

  1. Satoko,

    Thank you for these beautiful photos and excellent reporting on Henoko. We're linking to your posts in the new year.

    What do the signs on the beach say? Is there an explicit purpose for the decorated barbed wire fence?

    NASA has jurisdiction over a huge beachfront area on the Atlantic coast in Florida. They wanted to build an unneeded extra rocket pad in an beautiful, environmentally sensitive and important (migratory bird stop-over sanctuary) but local residents also challenged them back. So now, the
    rocket pad is cancelled or on hold.

    It would be enlightening to juxtapose photographs of the beautiful places throughout the world controlled by the US military--Puerto Rica, Hawaii, Philippines...If there was a real, defensive need against a real, imminent threat, such military expansion and escalation might be understandable...

    But this is all about pork barrel politics, bringing home contracts and making a dollar, yen, or whatever currency. It's amazing seeing the reports from Guam--reminiscent of hungry animals at a feeding trough.