Okinawa Prefectural Assembly asks for cancellation of new US base in Henoko

December 25, 2014 Ryukyu Shimpo

On December 24 Okinawa Prefectural Assembly passed a resolution and written opinion asking for the cancellation of construction of a new US base in Henoko, Nago. They were passed with a majority made up of the ruling party and Komei party members. The resolution and written opinion were submitted by the ruling party. The governments of Japan and the United States are carrying out construction work as part of a relocation of U.S. Marine Corps Futenma Air Station in Ginowan to Henoko.

Referring to the results of the gubernatorial race and the House of Representatives election, in which all candidates opposing the construction of new U.S. base won, the resolution says that public opinion against the construction is overwhelming and firm. It asked the governments of Japan and the United States to abandon the relocation project, and it called for the removal and closure of the Futenma base.

A written opinion seeking early closure and return of U.S Futenma Air Station submitted by the Liberal-Democratic Party failed to win enough votes parliament and was rejected.

The Liberal-Democratic Party’s proposal stated that the governments should solve the issue, accepting the reality of the results of the gubernatorial election and the election of the House of Representatives. It does not mention the relocation site. Members of the Liberal-Democratic Party, Hiroshi Goya (Political Group of Okinawa Revolution) and Hikaru Minei (independent) favored it over the proposal of the ruling party, which specifically opposes the Henoko relocation. Toma, Gima and Arakaki walked out of the voting on the Liberal-Democratic Party proposal.

Morio Toma, Mitsuhide GIma (Political Group of Okinawa Revolution) and Yasuhiro Arakaki (independent) supported the written opinion seeking to abandon the new base in Henoko. Members of the assembly will visit Tokyo to hand the resolution and written opinion directly to the officials of relevant agencies.

The assembly unanimously adopted a resolution demanding strict discipline among U.S. service members and its civilian employees, including cancellation of the easing of an off-duty action guideline or ‘liberty policy’ for the service members. Since the policy was eased incidents involving U.S service members have already taken place.

In addition to these resolutions, the assembly has unanimously passed the general supplementary budget submitted by Governor Takeshi Onaga .

(English translation by T&CT)

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