Internationally acclaimed anime director Hayao Miyazaki to be co-representative of Henoko Fund

Internationally acclaimed anime director Hayao Miyazaki to be co-representative of Henoko Fund

Acclaimed anime director Hayao Miyazaki (Photograph provided by Kyodo News Service)


May 8, 2015 Kazuya Arakaki and Aiya Hokama of Ryukyu Shimpo

On May 7, it was revealed that film director Hayao Miyazaki intends to become a co-representative of the “Henko Fund,” which was established with the aim of preventing the relocation of U.S. Marine Corp Air Station Futenma to Henoko, Nago City. This information was provided to the Ryukyu Shimpo by Studio Ghibli. Hayao Miyazaki is well known and highly regarded world-wide as a director of anime films, and has won an American Academy Honorary Award, which honors significant achievements in the world of film. In order to support the prefectural government’s platform of preventing the construction of a new military base, participants in the protest movement, including a group called the Shima Gurumi Association, plan to become more vocal and spread word of the Okinawan people’s opposition to the Henoko base widely throughout Japan and around the world. Hayao Miyazaki’s inauguration as co-representative of the Henoko fund will be a significant boost for their future success.”

When the fund was first established, Hayao Miyazaki’s name came up as a potential representative, and Miyazaki was approached in private regarding the matter.

The heads of the fund say they are delighted to have Miyazaki put his name to the cause, and plan to send him an official request to be a co-representative of the fund.

Hayao Miyazaki’s film “Spirited Away” was the first animated film to win the Golden Bear award, the highest prize awarded at the Berlin International Film Festival, in 2002. In 2003, “Spirited Away” won the Academy Award for Best Animated Film. Miyazaki’s later films “Howl’s Moving Castle” and “The Wind Rises” were also nominated for the same award. In 2014, he became the second Japanese person, after the late Akira Kurosawa, to receive an Honorary Award from the U.S. Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which holds the Academy Awards.

In November 2014, Miyazaki contributed to efforts to gather statements from well-known people supporting the removal of MV-22 Osprey from Okinawa and opposing the construction of a new military base in Henoko. He made the statement; “It is precisely the demilitarization of Okinawa that is needed to achieve peace in East Asia.”

Current co-representatives of the Henoko fund are former Kadena mayor Tokujitsu Miyagi, Kanehide Group chairman Morimasa Goya, Kariyushi Group CEO Chokei Taira, Okinawa Ham Sogo Shokuhin chairman Tokumatsu Nagahama, former Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan chief analyst Masaru Sato, and Fumiko Sugawara, wife of the late actor Bunta Sugawara. It has also been decided that Okinawan photojournalist Bunyo Ishikawa will be made a co-representative of the fund.

(English translation by T&CT and Sandi Aritza)

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