Villagers hold protest rally against US Osprey and F-35’s training on Ie Island
March 8, 2015 Ryukyu Shimpo
On March 7, a protest rally against the expansion of U.S. military training at the Ie Jima Auxiliary Airfield was held on Ie Island. U.S. Marine Corps plans to expand its MV-22 Osprey aircraft training program and begin F-35 fighter’s training. About 100 people from in and outside the village took part in the rally. They voiced their opposition, saying that the U.S. military’s new moves will increase the U.S base burden on the villagers.
The rally was held by the anti-war peace museum Nuchi-du-Takara-no-Ie. Minoru Naka, a member of the Ie village council, reported at the rally that the U.S. military has a plan to begin F-35’s training on the island. He said,” There was work carried out to move an operation support facility from Agariekami to Maja district.” He stressed, “A plan is being advanced while villagers do not know about it. We would like to unite and raise our voices in protest.”
The founder of the museum is late Shoko Ahagon, whose land was forcibly taken by the U.S. military. He dedicated his life to anti-war movements.
Etsuko Jahana of the Wabiai no Sato Foundation expressed her gratitude to the participants for their support in helping the museum reach its 30 years’ anniversary. She said, “Before Mr. Shoko Ahagon passed away, he said peace was missing. Now that almost 13 years have passed since his death, peace further eludes us. So, I assure you that he is continuing the peace movement for us in heaven.”
(English translation by T&CT)
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