Naha Mayor Onaga comments on pressure from LDP for Henoko relocation

Naha Mayor Onaga comments on pressure from LDP for Henoko relocation

On November 20, at Naha City Hall, Mayor Takeshi Onaga said, ""It is an extremely unfortunate situation that LDP headquarters have put pressure the Okinawa branch to accept the plan to move Futenma Air Station to Henoko in Nago."


November 21, 2013 Ryukyu Shimpo

The headquarters of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) have put pressure on their Okinawa branch to accept the plan to move U.S. Marine Corps Air Station to Henoko in Nago. Referring to this at a press conference on November 20, Naha Mayor Takeshi Onaga said, “It is an extremely unfortunate situation.” He went on to comment that it was commendable that over the past few years all of the Okinawan political parties had been united against the relocation plan and the deployment of the Osprey to Okinawa. Onaga said, “I would like Okinawan people to think carefully about the meaning of this series of events.”

During the Lower House elections of December 2012, Mayor Onaga ran the campaign headquarters for LDP candidate Konosuke Kokuba and others who then had pressure brought to bear on them by the party to renege on their campaign pledges to move the facilities at Futenma out of Okinawa. Onaga said, “For the past year and a half we have been talking about what sort of things they might do, including being told to leave the party.” He said that the latest developments were “not entirely unexpected.”

Onaga said, “In the 68 years since the end of WWII, there has not been another time when the hearts of the Okinawan people were united in such a nonpartisan manner.” On the topic of the Nago mayoral election to be held next January, in reference to the presence of the U.S. military bases having caused such conflict among the Okinawan people, he said, “I sense something absolutely outrageous.” He said, “I want Okinawan people to pay close attention to developments from now, and to ponder over the magnitude of what was has been achieved to date.”

(English translation by T&CT, Lima Tokumori and Mark Ealey)

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