US documentary filmmaker Regis Tremblay conveys harm caused by military bases

US documentary filmmaker Regis Tremblay conveys harm caused by military bases

Regis Tremblay gathers information on construction work for the new base as part of his work documenting the struggles faced in areas hosting US bases. On July 27 afternoon, Oura Bay, Nago.

July 29, 2015 Rykyu Shimpo

On July 27, Regis Tremblay, 70, a documentary filmmaker from Maine, United States, visited Henoko, Nago for the first time. There, he went out on a boat with citizens protesting against the construction of a new base and observed the construction work being carried out, as well as the protests against it. Tremblay took footage of the protesters raising their voices in opposition to the new base as they were closely monitored by Okinawa Defense Bureau and Japan Coast Guard vessels. Tremblay said, “I want to convey the way in which, while the United States realizes freedom and democracy for itself, people in other countries suffer from U.S. military bases.”

In September 2012, Tremblay completed “Ghosts of Jeju”, a documentary film about the planned construction of a U.S. Navy base in Jeju Island, South Korea. He first heard about the Henoko issue while filming Ghosts of Jeju. After following developments in the Henoko issue last year, when construction work began towards a part-offshore runway, he decided that he had to see Henoko for himself, and came to Okinawa on July 26.

After filming the protests in Oura Bay, Tremblay said, “In the United States, there is almost no information about US bases in other countries. So people in the United States have no idea of the harm caused by the bases. I want to make people pay more attention to what is going on.”

Tremblay will stay in Okinawa until August 28, and will interview former Governor Masahide Ota and Nago Mayor Susumu Inamine. He plans to make a documentary about the Henoko issue based on the filming and interviews he conducts here.

(Translation by T&CT and Sandi Aritza)

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