7,000 citizens form human chain in Tokyo to protest against new US base in Henoko

7,000 citizens form human chain in Tokyo to protest against new US base in Henoko

Thousands of people surrounded the Diet building to oppose the government's plan to move the Futenma base to Henoko, Nago, in the afternoon on January 25, in Tokyo. (Photograph provided by Tokyo Shimbun)


January 26, 2015 Ryukyu Shimpo

On January 25, in Tokyo, about 7,000 people, including scholars, members of citizen groups, and people from Okinawa, formed a human chain around the Diet building to oppose a new U.S. base in Henoko, Nago. The protesters successfully completed the human chain two times that day. It is the first time protesters have surrounded the Diet building to oppose the government’s plan to move the Futenma base to Henoko. The participants raised their voices, saying things such as “Do not build a new U.S. base,” “Do not kill the sea.” They appealed to the public, calling for unity with people in Okinawa.

Thousands of people gathered in a stream as soon as the rally started in front of the main gate of the Diet building at 2 p.m. Chanting in unison, they showed a willingness to oppose the plan to relocate the Futenma base to Henoko. After the rally, participants held hands to form a human chain around the Diet at 3:15 p.m. and 3:25 p.m.

Satoshi Kamata, a freelance writer and the event organizer, said, “It is discrimination and bullying against Okinawa that the governments are forcing it to accept the new U.S. base in Henoko. We cannot afford to continue to live at the sacrifice of Okinawan people.” He also stressed more need for support for the struggle in Okinawa from the mainland of Japan.

(English translation by T&CT)

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