Former Prime Minister Murayama supports ‘All-Okinawa’ movement

Former Prime Minister Murayama supports ‘All-Okinawa' movement

Former Prime Minister Tomiichi Muraya


September 3, 2015 Ryukyu Shimpo

Honorary chairman of Social Democratic Party Tomiichi Murayama was the Prime Minister when a massive protest rally was held on October 21, 1995, following the 1995 rape of 12-year-old by U.S. servicemen. In December of the same year, Murayama sued then Okinawa Governor Masahide Ota, who was refusing to renew leases for American base land. As a result, landowners were forced to renew their leases. Murayama has since given an interview to the Ryukyu Shimpo. Murayama said he highly regards the “All-Okinawa” movement and called for revision of the Japan-U.S. Security Arrangements and Japan-U.S. Status-of-Forces Agreement.

Recalling his first meeting with Ota, which took place on November 4, 1995, and lasted four hours, Murayama said, “Okinawa has been sacrificed for the main island of Japan. Japan as the whole nation needs to tackle the U.S. military base issues.” He added, “The Japanese government should focus on diplomacy rather than preparing for wars. Murayama criticized the Abe administration, which is forcing through controversial security bills, saying, “Their logic is upside down.” He stated, “Japan needs to work on revising the Japan-U.S. Security Arrangements and Japan-U.S. Status-of-Forces Agreement.”

Murayama said he highly regarded the “All-Okinawa” movement, which he claimed had “emerged in accordance with the changes in the times.” However, he warned the situation would not change if the Abe government continues with its current approach. He stressed the need for the central government to change its policy of relying on military power to one that seeks peace. Murayama said, “The Okinawan people’s movement is making Japanese citizens rethink the current situation.”

(English translation by T&CT)

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