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Monday, March 29, 2010

Okinawa's Democracy Speaks 沖縄の民意を聞け

85,000 Okinawans gathered in Ginowan, to protest against US military bases on October 21, 1995, after the gang rape of a school girl by three US Marines.

On the March 19 post "Listen to the Unequivocal Voice of Okinawa - Once and for All," I wrote:

"How many of these elections, plebiscites, resolutions, and mass-scale rallies do the central government and US Government need to hear about in order to REALLY get the message - one simple message that Okinawa (nor any other prefecture) does NOT want another base?"

How many, actually?

This is my small attempt to make a list, though it is far from exhaustive. Please help me add more.

Resolutions, Position Statements, Policymakers’ Statements

***On February 24, Okinawa Prefectural Assembly unanimously passed a position statement to demand Futenma Air Station to be relocated outside of the prefecture or outside of the country. It was the first time in fourteen years that such statement passed the Prefectural Assembly. (Okinawa Times)

***Commenting on the Prefectural Assembly decision on February 24, Okinawa Governor Nakaima Hirokazu said, “I see it as an important expression of the opinion of the prefectural assembly.” He also told reporters “It is extremely significant that the prefectural assembly overcame its differences across the parties and reached the unanimous conclusion that inter-prefectural relocation is unacceptable.” (Okinawa Times)

***On March 8, Nago City Council passed an unanimous resolution to oppose the government’s plan to build a runway on the inland section of Camp Schwab. (Kyushu Yomiuri)

***On March 16, Kanzaki City/Saga Prefecture passed a resolution to oppose relocation of some training functions of Futenma to Saga Airport. Saga Prefecture and Saga City have passed resolutions as well. (Mainichi)

***On March 17, Okinawa Governor Nakaima Hirokazu called the inland Schwab option “impossible to understand,” and the artificial island plan “extremely difficult to materialize.” (Mainichi)

***Three town councils of Tokunoshima(Kagoshima Prefecture), including one that hosts Tokunoshima Airport, passed opposition resolutions between March 9 and 17 (Mainichi)

***The Council of Uruma City, where White Beach is, also passed a position statement addressed to the central government opposing the above mentioned plan to reclaim off Katsuren Peninsula (Ryukyu Asahi)

***On March 25, Kagoshima Governor Ito Yuichiro told Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirano that he opposed Futenma relocation to Kagoshima Prefecture. (Mainichi )

***On March 26, Nago Mayor Inamine Susumu reiterated his position to reporters, “whether it is a ‘diversified relocation’ or not, I am against the idea of building a base over the ocean or on the ground.” (Jiji)

On April 5, Association of Okinawan Mayors, mayors of the 11 cities of
Okinawa, unanimously passed a resolution calling for a swift closure and
return of Futenma Air Station and the relocation of it to be outside of
the Okinawa prefecture. (Ryukyu Shimpo)


***Based on the DPJ’s election campaign pledge that the Futenma relocation would be “at least outside of the Okinawa Prefecture,” all four candidates opposing the new base in Okinawa were elected for all the four election districts of Okinawa in the Lower House General Election on August 30, 2009. Another anti-base candidate won the parallel representation district.

***Anti-base candidate Inamine Susumu won the Nago Mayoral Election on January 25, 2010.

Plebiscites, Polls

***1997 Nago City Plebiscite – the majority of Nago Citizens opposed a new base.

*** November 3, Ryukyu Shimpo Poll Among Okinawans,
  • 70% want Futenma relocation out of prefecture and country

  • 67% against a new base in Henoko

  • 72% against Futenma being integrated into Kadena

*** November 11 Okinawa Times Poll

  • 63% want Futenma Relocation outside the prefecture

  • 72% against Futenma’s integration into Kadena


***On November 7, 2009, 2,500 citizens of Kadena City (one fifth of the population) rallied against the integration of Futenma Air Station into Kadena Air Base.

*** On November 8, 2009, an Okinawan citizens’ rally was held in Ginowan City to demand closure of Futenma Air Station and oppose inter-prefectural relocation of the base. It was attended by 21,000 people.

*** On March 25, 2010, 650 citizens of Uruma City gathered to oppose the government’s idea to build an artificial island by reclaiming a site off White Beach.

***On March 28, 4,200 people gathered in Tokunoshima Island (Kagoshima Prefecture) to oppose relocation of Futenma Air Station to the island.

***Okinawans are going to get together once again for a massive rally on April 25 at Yomitan Sports Park. This will be the first all-party demonstration against building another base within Okinawa as a "relocation" site of Futenma Air Station. They are aiming for participation of 100,000 people.

I will keep adding.


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