Henoko Fund formally launched in Naha with 185 million yen
May 14, 2015 Ryukyu Shimpo
The Henoko Fund aimed at supporting activities to prevent the relocation of U.S. Marine Corp Air Station Futenma to Henoko, a coastal community in the city of Nago in northern Okinawa Prefecture, was formally launched in Naha on May 13. Over 185 million yen had already been received in donations.
Members of the prefectural assembly and local business leaders had been preparing for the launch by holding meetings to raise funds and to select the fund’s representatives. Now that the fund has been formally launched, its activities are set to start in earnest. At the inaugural general meeting, the organizers said that a total of ¥ 185,406,093 had been raised from 15,022 donors. The fund appropriated 350 million yen as its fiscal 2015 budget and designated that amount of money as its fundraising goal.
At the general assembly, the committee formally approved the appointment of nine joint representatives. It also designated members of a Fund Steering Committee to study uses of the fund. The steering committee held its first meeting after the general assembly, confirming agenda items such as the structure and role of the committee. It plans to hold its second meeting on May 21 to start discussions on specific uses of the fund.
The co-representatives were chosen from both in and outside Okinawa Prefecture. Those from outside are film director: Hayao Miyazaki; journalist Shuntaro Torigoe; former Japanese Foreign Ministry chief analyst Masaru Sato; Fumiko Sugawara, wife of the late actor Bunta Sugawara; and photojournalist Bunyo Ishikawa, who is originally from Okinawa but lives in the mainland. Those from Okinawa are former Kadena Mayor Tokujitsu Miyagi, Kanehide Group Chairman Morimasa Goya, Kariyushi Group CEO Chokei Taira, and Okinawa Ham Sogo Shokuhin Chairman Tokumatsu Nagahama.
“We’ve come this far with our sole desire being to stop the Henoko base. The effort is becoming an ‘all-Japan’ one, not just an ‘all-Okinawan one.’ Let’s stop the construction of the new base and give Japanese democracy a wake-up call,” said Goya.
Okinawa Governor Takeshi Onaga, who gave an address at the general assembly as a guest, said, “I will stand firm as governor at the forefront (of the opposition movement). I hope that we will be successful while showing our resolve.”
(English translation by T&CT and Miwa Murphy)
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