Protest rally against Osprey deployment to be held in late June

March 14, 2012 Ryukyu Shimpo

On March 13, Ginowan Municipal Office representatives met with the city’s five key entities to discuss the issue of the deployment of the MV-22 Osprey vertical take-off and landing transport aircraft to the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma and confirmed plans to hold a protest rally against the deployment in mid to late June after the prefectural assembly election.

The tentative theme of the rally is “Ginowan citizens’ rally against the deployment of the Osprey aircraft to Futenma Air Station and for the early return of Futenma Air Station.” Six major groups from the city including the Ginowan Municipal Office, City Council, Community Leaders Association, Senior Club Association, Women’s Association, and Youth Association will organize the planning and preparatory committee. At a preparatory meeting on April 6, the committee will decide upon a date and a location in the vicinity of Ginowan Seaside Park.

After the meeting, Mayor Atsushi Sakima said, “Both the City and Prefectural Councils have adopted a resolution to oppose the deployment. As a mayor voted in to represent citizens, I oppose any deployment that poses problems for citizens’ security and lives. I would like to bolster efforts to prepare for and inform people about the rally.”

It has been eight years since the city held its last protest against the U.S. military helicopter crash in September 2004. Carrying out a sit-in protest last year, the six major groups from Ginowan have already protested against the deployment of the Osprey aircraft.

(English translation by T&CT, Megumi Chibana and Mark Ealey)

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