2,200 protesters surround OPG buildings and demand Okinawa Govenor Nakaima
December 5, 2014 Ryukyu Shimpo
Okinawa Governor Hirokazu Nakaima could possibly approve an application submitted by the Okinawa Defense Bureau to change the method used for landfill in Henoko, Nago, where a new U.S. Marine air base is planned to replace the Futenma base in Ginowan. On December 4, citizen groups formed a human chain around the Okinawa Prefectural Government (OPG) buildings in Naha to demonstrate their united opposition to the governor’s approval.
According to the organizers, 2,200 people gathered and requested Nakaima not approve the application during his term of office.
In the rain, the participants held blue signboards bearing the messages, “The result of the Okinawa gubernatorial election showed Okinawan people’s will” and “No to a new base in Henoko.”
Facing the OPG buildings, the citizens voiced their protest, calling for the governor to respect Okinawan people’s will. They said they would not tolerate the betrayal of his reneging on a pledge to move the base outside Okinawa.
The participants raised their voices in protest against the governor’s approval of the application in the final days of his term of office, which ends on December 9.
They declared they would continue to protest against the construction of the new base.
Hiroshi Ashitomi, co-representative of the Helicopter Base Objection Association, said, “We will not allow Nakaima to ignore his historical defeat in the gubernatorial election by a margin of about 100,000 votes.”
At the end of the rally, Ashitomi said, “Nakaima should not approve the application because Okinawan people rejected him based on his approval of the Henoko relocation, which could hugely influence the future of Okinawa. His further betrayal is not tolerated.”
The participants have adopted a resolution to request Nakaima leave the decision on whether to approve the application to the next Governor Takeshi Onaga.
This is the second time citizens have formed a human chain around the OPG buildings since the Japanese government began marine boring investigations in Henoko this August.
(English translation by T&CT)
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