Sit-in protesters sing gospel to oppose the construction of a new U.S military base in Henoko
December 25, 2014 Ryukyu Shimpo
The governments of Japan and the United States plan to build a new offshore air base in Henoko, Nago as a replacement for U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma. On the morning of December 25, about 100 citizens gathered and staged a sit-in protest against the plan in front of the gate of U.S Marine Camp Schwab in Henoko.
For Christmas, members of the Gospel Singers Association Against U.S bases in Okinawa visited the sit-in protesters. They sang gospel songs to oppose the construction of the new base and prayed for peace.
The head of the association Takehiro Kamiya said, “The U.S and Japanese governments are oppressing Okinawa. Now is the time to transcend religions and unite with many people through music.” The association members plan to sing gospel in front of the Camp Schwab gate every fourth Friday from next January.
Moriteru Arasaki, professor emeritus at Okinawa University, took part in the protest. Arasaki said, “The Okinawan civil movement has reached a new point. The foundation of a right to self-determination is a right to resist. Each of us should do what we can do. That will lead us to a constructive future.”
Before noon, it was confirmed that underwater research activities by the Okinawa Defense Bureau were not taking place off the coast of Camp Schwab.
(English translation by T&CT)
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