Okinawan citizen group protests against Japan’s right to collective defense

Okinawan citizen group protests against Japan's right to collective defense

On April 30, at the Okinawa Prefectural Government Office, the members of the citizen group against amendment to the Constitution of Japan voiced their opposition to allowing Japan to use the right to collective defense.


May 1, 2014 Ryukyu Shimpo

On April 30, a citizen group opposing an amendment to the Constitution of Japan that would allow the pacifist nation to have its own military again, held a press conference at the Okinawa Prefectural Government Office. They criticised plans to revise the constitution, arguing “It takes the teeth out of the constitution.” Shoei Asato, a co-caretaker of the association said, “If we are not careful, Okinawa will become a battlefield and Okinawan people will die again.”

The group expressed their concerns in their statement, referring to moving U.S. Marine Corps Futenma Air Station to Henoko in Nago and stationing the Japan Self-Defense Forces in Yonaguni. One of the group members said, “Military bases in Okinawa will be reinforced as the front-line bases against China. We fear that Okinawa will become a battlefield in a war between China and Japan.” The other said, “We have to voice our protests against the movement of the Abe administration pushing to use the right of collective defense, which will change Japan to a nation that can wage war.”

Another co-caretaker of the group Morihisa Higa stated, “We should set up relations with Asian nations, including China by peace diplomacy, not military power.”

(English translation by T&CT and Lima Tokumori)

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