Former nation’s leaders criticize government for forcing through construction of new US base
June 10, 2015 Ryukyu Shimpo
On June 9, former Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama and former Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono talked about the 70 th anniversary of the end of the war. The talk was sponsored by the Japan National Press Club in Tokyo.
Murayama criticized the Abe administration for forcing through the construction of a U.S. base in Henoko, Nago, as a replacement for Futenma Air Station, even after Takeshi Onaga won the gubernatorial election in November with a pledge to block the plan. The former prime minister said, “The government should not ignore the will of the people of Okinawa.”
Kono said, “I’m very worried [about the situation of Okinawa]. The candidates, who are opposed to the U.S. base construction, clearly won the elections, supported by public opinion. It is very important for the democracy of Japan.”
Muaryama also said, “Okinawa has been sacrificed by the presence of U.S. military even after the war ended. The will of the people, who are opposed to it unanimously, should not be ignored. It is important that the government cooperates with Okinawa’s request in good faith.”
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe plans to make a statement marking 70 years since the end of World War II this summer. Murayama urged Prime Minister Abe to honor the spirit of the ‘Murayama statement’, which was issued in 1995 marking the 50th anniversary of the end of the war. In the statement, then-Prime Minister Murayama expressed remorse and an apology for the country’s past colonial rule and military aggression across Asia.
Kono said the statements upheld by past governments should not be watered down.
(English translation by T&CT)
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- Governor Onaga asks Prime Minister to cancel construction of new US base at their first meeting
- Okinawa Governor Onaga meets Chinese Premier
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