People’s rally opposing new US air base planned for March 21

People's rally opposing new US air base planned for March 21

On February 8, at the Okinawa prefectural assembly, members of the executive committee announced they will hold the people's rally on March 21.

March 9, 2015 Ryukyu Shimpo

A committee of elected leaders and citizens will hold a people’s rally to block the construction of a new U.S. base in Henoko, Nago, at Sedake beach near the planned site from 1:00 p.m. on March 21. The event is being organized by the five ruling parties of the Okinawa prefectural assembly, and citizen groups. They aim to attract more than three thousands participants. They plan to run buses from various districts to the venue. The governments of Japan and the United States have been carrying out preparation work to move U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma to Henoko.

The executive committee is also considering holding people’s rallies in April and May, and in Tokyo between May and June. Okinawa Governor Takeshi Onaga will make a decision in July on whether to cancel or withdraw the former Governor Hirokazu Nakaima’s approval of reclamation in Henoko, after he receives a verification report from an independent committee. The organizer also plans to hold another protest event in Tokyo in July.

The upcoming people’s rally, scheduled for March 21 near the planned site, will be the fourth of its kind since construction began last year. The organizer held the first people’s rally in last August when the government started a drilling survey.

Rallies were also held in September last year and February this year. The government is advancing preparation work for the reclamation project, ignoring the governor’s demand to suspend the work. The organizer is aiming to demonstrate Okinawan people’s will against the government’s relocation plan.

(English translation by T&CT)

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