Nago city council asks governments to cancel expanding restricted US-military sea area in Henoko

June 26, 2014 Ryukyu Shimpo

On June 25, Nago City Council adopted a written opinion opposing the expansion of the restricted military area into local fishing watersnear the planned relocation site for the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma in Henko, Nago. The city council also resolved to oppose Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s bid to reinterpret the Constitution to enable Japan to engage in collective self-defense. These resolutions were passed by a majority vote.

The Governments of Japan and the United States have agreed to redraw the boundaries of the area restricted for exclusive use by U.S. Forces in the waters off Camp Schwab. They also agreed to expand the area where fishing will be prohibited based on the Restriction on Operation of Fishing Vessels Act. The city council criticized the agreement, saying that the governments have a political intention to force the landfill through, despite the objection of residents. They asked the governments to cancel the expansion of the restricted area to protect the lives and property of citizens.

Referring to the newly restored right of collective self- defense, the city council pointed out that Okinawan people, who bear an excessive U.S. military base burden, are concerned that they will be involved in wars fought by other countries. They criticized the Abe administration, saying that one cabinet’s political judgment has easily changed the interpretation of the Constitution without a national debate.
These resolutions have passed with 16 in favor, 9 opposed and 1 absent.

(English translation by T&CT)

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