3,800 protesters against new US base and new security laws gather in front of Camp Schwab

3,800 protesters against new US base and new security laws gather in front of  Camp Schwab

About 3,800 people gathered to block a new U.S. base construction at 3:16 p.m. on September 5 in front of the gate of Camp Schwab. (Photograph taken by Masatoshi Moromizato)

September 6, 2015 Ryukyu Shimpo

On September 5, a rally demanding the cancellation of construction of a new U.S. base in Henoko, the scrapping of a security bill and the resignation of the Abe administration was held in front of U.S. Marine Camp Schwab at Henoko, Nago.

According to the group of organizers, which includes the ruling party of the Okinawa Prefectural Assembly and citizen groups, about 3,800 people took part despite a heavy rain before and during the rally.

Hiroshi Ashitomi, co-representative of the Helicopter Base Objection Association, made a speech. He said, referring to the former Governor Hirokazu Nakaima’s approval of the landfill for the construction of the U.S. base, “Governor Takeshi Onaga should revoke his predecessor’s approval before his speech at the United Nations.” The governor is scheduled to speak at the UN in late September.

The participants showed their support for Ashitomi’s comments with applause and cheers.

They renewed their determination to stop the new base through the ‘All-Okinawa’ movement.
The fifth intensive consultation meeting between the governments of the prefectural and the central governments over the Henoko relocation issue was held in Tokyo on September 7. Ashitomi showed his determination to strengthen the sit-in protest in front of Camp Schwab, saying, “We will not allow the government to resume the construction work.” The participants gave him a big applause.

It is the fifth time such large rally has been held near Camp Schwab since the government started a seabed drilling survey last August.

Many citizens, including parents and children, took part in the rally. Members of the SEALDs RYUKYU, which is a youth group, also participated.

House of Representatives member Kantoku Teruya, a joint representative of the organizing committee, said, “We will win the struggle to protect the dignity of Okinawa and Uchinanchu (Okinawan people). We would like Govenor Onaga to cancel the former governor’s approval of the landfill as soon as possible.”

(English translation by T&CT)

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