Okinawan leaders hold rally in Naha to request rescinding of Osprey deployment

Okinawan leaders hold rally in Naha to request rescinding of Osprey deployment

On January 22, at the Naha Civic Hall, participants in a rally renewed their pledge to request to the U.S. and Japanese governments that the deployment of the Osprey be rescinded.


January 23, 2013 Ryukyu Shimpo

In the afternoon on January 22, Okinawan leaders held a rally at the Naha Civic Hall to request that the U.S. and Japanese governments rescind the deployment of the Osprey to Okinawa.

About 1300 people participated in the rally. They criticized the U.S. and Japanese governments for forcing through deployment of the Osprey to Okinawa, saying, “The deployment is a reckless act that serves to further humiliate the Okinawan people who have already suffered the excessive burden of hosting the U.S. military since the end of World War II.” The participants adopted the resolution unanimously, asserting that the deployment of the Osprey represents discrimination against and bullying of the Okinawan people and therefore cannot be ignored.

Representatives of the rally will send the resolution statement to the authorities related to the U.S. and Japanese governments. The U.S. and Japanese governments deployed the Osprey to Okinawa last year just three weeks after a protest rally against the deployment held on September 9, 2012 attracted more than 100000 participants. About this, Naha Mayor Takeshi Onaga, who represented the organizers, said, “That protest attracted such a large number of participants for a good reason. The central government just dismisses Okinawan people’s protest out of hand.” Onaga said that he will continue to request that the U.S. and Japanese governments rescind the Osprey deployment, and will oppose the relocation of Futenma Air Station within Okinawa. He said, “Japan enjoyed rapid economic growth by forcing Okinawa to bear the burden of hosting the bulk of the U.S. military presence in Japan. It is unreasonable for the central government to talk about developing the Japanese economy while continuing to impose such a burden on the people of Okinawa.” Based on the fact that the members of the Naha City Assembly have resolved to oppose the Osprey deployment a total of four times, Seiko Nagayama, the chairman of the assembly, said, “We cannot ignore the current situation we have in which the U.S. and Japanese governments treat Okinawan people with derision.”

With regard to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s book entitled Towards a Beautiful Country: My Vision for Japan, Haruo Mekari, the head of the Community Promotion Council of the Naha Corporation of Labor, said, “We would like you to include Okinawa in your vision of a beautiful country, and to rescind the Osprey deployment to help unlock the future of Okinawa.”

Onaga talked to the press after the rally, saying, “Applause just went on and on. I strongly sense their determination in requesting that the U.S. and Japanese governments rescind the deployment of the Osprey. I am confident that the Okinawan people’s voices will be more broadly heard by those living in the main islands of Japan.” Onaga renewed his pledge that he and other representatives will convey the Okinawan people’s will to oppose the Osprey deployment to the central government in Tokyo on January 27 and 28.

(English translation by T&CT, Mark Ealey)

Go to Japanese



Go To Video

Share on Facebook0Share on Google+0Tweet about this on Twitter0
 


Previous Article:
Next Article:

[Similar Articles]