Protest rally organizers to submit resolution to Prime Minister Abe

April 30, 2013 Ryukyu Shimpo

With such a large turnout at the rally protesting against the central government’s celebration of the date of restoration of Japan’s sovereignty on April 28, the rally’s executive committee have decided to send a written resolution to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The committee members will meet on April 30 to decide how and when to send the resolution.

The executive committee members of the rally held in Yaeyama sent a resolution to Abe on April 29.

Masaharu Kina, the co-leader of the rally, emphasized the significance of the event, saying, “I was concerned about the rally because of the short amount of time we had to prepare, but that so many people came along made me feel better about civil movements in Okinawa and more confident about their future.” Kina went on to say, “I want to take this occasion to promote further movements aimed at regaining Okinawa’s sovereign rights.” Kina said that the organizers of the rally will tackle issues faced by Okinawa, such as further deployment of Osprey aircraft, and the relocation of U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma to the Henoko district of Nago.

Kina indicated that in his opinion he would like people to consider making the rally an annual event.

Mio Nakamura, the executive director of the committee, said, “The people who came seemed to want the voice of the Okinawan people to be heard. This is a very serious matter which they cannot allow to go unnoticed. It has caused considerable anger. Many people were united in holding this rally because the people of Okinawa are not able to compromise any more on issues related to history textbooks and reclamation of land within the prefecture for the alternative facility of Futenma Air Station.”

The resolution said, “Holding this ceremony means trampling on the feelings of the Okinawan people and once again cutting the prefecture adrift. We will not tolerate this kind of ceremony.” It continued, “We hereby express our indignation and issue a strong protest against the central government having held the ceremony.”

(English translation by T&CT, Mark Ealey)

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