Nobel Prize winner Kenzaburo Oe visits Henoko to support protesters

Nobel Prize winner Kenzaburo Oe visits Henoko to support protesters

Kenzaburo Oe surveying the Henoko sea on the ship. At 11:13 a.m. on June 20.


June 21, 2015 Ryukyu Shimpo

On the morning of June 20, Nobel-prize winning author Kenzaburo Oe, visited the Henoko district of Nago, where the governments of Japan and the United States are advancing the construction of a new U.S. base in order to relocate U.S. Marine Corp Air Station Futenma in Ginowan. Oe said, “I feel sympathy with those who are protesting against new base construction. I have a feeling that Okinawan citizens will ultimately win.”

Around 10:30 a.m., Oe boarded protest ship “Chura Umi (beautiful sea)” and left Henoko Fishing Port. After going over the sea of Henoko, the Nobel prize winner visited the gate of U.S. Marine Camp Schwab. Viewing Oura Bay from the ship, Oe said, “The sea of Henoko is different from what I imagined. The governments of Japan and the United States are trying to build the foundation of a huge military base in the transparent sea, which is rich in marine resources.”

Oe said, “I feel empathy for citizens who are persistent in protesting in front of the Schwab gate. Although they are confronted with the the U.S. and Japanese governments, those citizens keep showing their will to win, and they can if they don’t give up. I am impressed by them.”

In Oura Bay, Nago City councilman Takuma Higashionna accompanied Oe and explained about the area’s natural features. Higashionna said, “The governments of Japan and the United States are not only building a replacement facility for Futenma Air Station, but are also adding capacity for military ships.”

(English translation by T&CT)

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