Poll finds 80% of residents favor stopping Henoko relocation work
August 26, 2014 Ryukyu Shimpo
Ryukyu Shimpo and Okinawa Television Broadcasting (OTV) carried out a telephone poll jointly on August 23 and 24 referring to the seabed drilling survey in Henoko, Nago. The Henoko bay area is the planned reclamation site for U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma. The poll found 80. 2 percent of residents favored cessation of the relocation work. Only 19. 8 percent of respondents said that the work should continue as is.
The poll revealed 81.5 percent of residents do not support the Abe administration’s attitude, while 18.6 percent support it. This figure highlights an increasing backlash against the Abe administration, which forced the relocation work amid Nago City’s opposition to it.
To the question of whether Okinawa Governor Hirokazu Nakaima should respond to this issue, 53. 8 percent suggested that the governor should cancel his approval of the landfill, and that he should ask for the government to discourage the construction plan itself. Seventy-four percent did not favor the governor’s approval of the landfill, including the people who responded that the governor should not cooperate with the government on this issue and should seek the government to halt the work at least. This suggests the citizens’ strong criticism against the governor’s approval of the landfill.
With regard to the solution to the Futenma issue, 79.7 percent of respondents sought “unconditional closure and removal of the Futenma base,” or relocation of the base outside Okinawa in Japan or abroad. Only 10 percent favor the Henoko relocation. A mere 4.6 per cent of respondents support the relocation of the base to a site other than Henoko within the prefecture.
In response to the question, “What is the most important issue for voters about to choose between candidates for governor at the gubernatorial election on November 16?”, the largest majority of respondents, 34. 3 percent, selected base issues such as the Futenma relocation and return of it”. This was followed by “employment policy and economic development”(24.4 percent) and “medical, welfare and education issues” (19.3 percent).
Regarding a boring survey of the seafloor in preparation for landfill work necessary to build the air base, 87.7 percent of people in their 60s responded that the boring survey should be stopped. This stance was found in high percentages among middle-aged and elderly respondents. 72. 9 percent of people in their 20s also responded that the boring survey should be stopped.
About 85.3 percent of women and 73.9 percent of men wanted the boring survey to stop. In terms of occupation categories, 90.4 percent of full-time housewives responded that the boring survey should be stopped. This attitude was also revealed in a high percentage among part-time workers and freelance professions. A little less than 30 percent of clerical workers, civil servants, agricultural workers, and forestry and fisheries workers, indicated that they thought the boring survey should proceed. Though still the minority, this percentage is relatively high compared to other occupations.
(English translation by T&CT)
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