Volunteers recovering the remains of Battle of Okinawa victims press government to re-assess the landfill application for new base at Henoko

Volunteers recovering the remains of Battle of Okinawa victims press government to re-assess the landfill application for new base at Henoko

Takamatsu Gushiken, the president of the Gamafuya handed over a written request to Masaharu Kina, the chairman of the assembly (left) at the office of the assembly chairman on September 25.


September 29, 2014 Ryukyu Shimpo

Takamatsu Gushiken, the president of the Gamafuya, a volunteer group dedicated to the recovery of remains of the Battle of Okinawa, visited the Okinawa Prefectural Assembly on September 25. Gushiken asked Masaharu Kina, the chairman of the assembly, to reassess the application for landfill off the coast of Henoko, Nago. Okinawa Governor Hirokazu Nakaima has approved the Japanese government’s application for landfill at Henoko in preparation for relocating the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma. Gushiken pointed out it is possible there are many remains of Battle of Okinawa victims within the Camp Schwab site where the construction of a new U.S.military base is being carried out. He claimed the Okinawa Prefectural Government (OPG) did not take account of this when reviewing the application, which he said was a huge mistake.

During the Battle of Okinawa, many residents died of malnutrition and were buried at camps around the island. It is possible that one of these camps was Ourazaki camp within the Camp Schwab site. Gushiken claimed, “There is a high possibility the site has many remains, which have not been recovered.”

He said, “I want the Japanese government to stop the construction (at Henoko) and ensure any remains there are preserved. Building the military base over the deceased is disrespectful. The OPG, which has a duty to carry on the memory of the war, should not allow the construction.”

Kina said, “I imagine the victims of the war would have asked Gushiken to seek reassessment of the application. We would like to take it seriously.”

(English translation by T&CT)

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