Buddhist monks and U.S.veterans take part in protest march against the construction of a new U.S. military base in Henoko and helipads in Takae
October 21, 2014 Ryukyu Shimpo
On October 20 in front of the Naha City Office, about 20 people, including Buddhist monks of Nipponzan Myohonji and former U.S. military servicemen, held a departing ceremony for the “2014 Okinawa Peace Memorial March”. The march around the island is an appeal for a peaceful, military base-free Okinawa. This is the event’s 28th year. After the departing ceremony, the group marched through Kokusai Street and rallied for the cessation of plans for the construction of a new base in Henoko, Nago City and helipads in Takae, Higashi Vilage.
On October 21, the group started marching from Cape Hedo in Kunigami Village and arrived at the Okinawa Prefectural Peace Memorial Park in Mabuni, Itoman City. At 3 p.m. on October 22, the group held a religious gathering at the gate of Camp Schwab in Henoko.
Two members from Veterans for Peace, a U.S. peace organization made up of veterans, also took part. Seventy-six-year-old Jul Awkin from New Jersey served in the U.S. Army from 1958 to 1961. After taking part in a meeting to protest military bases on Korea’s Jeju Island, he visited Okinawa for the first time. Awkin, who opposes the construction of drone bases in the United States, said he would like to continue to appeal to the public about the importance of peace while working with people in Okinawa and Korea.
(English translation by T&CT and Megumi Chibana)
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