Yohei Kono says that forcing construction of new US base is undemocratic
November 18, 2015 Ryukyu Shimpo
Former Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono delivered a lecture titled “70 years after the war: Yohei Kono speaks about the future of Okinawa and Asia” at the Ryukyu Shimpo Hall, Naha, on November 17. About 460 people listened to his lecture.
At the lecture, Kono asserted that Okinawans’ opposition to construction of a new base at Henoko is clear. He criticized the Abe administration, saying, “No matter how you look at it, in Japan as a democratic state, unilaterally overriding the governor of Okinawa’s revocation [of the landfill permit] is undemocratic and denies local autonomy.”
Kono pointed out that despite the fact some people think the military bases are important for the security of Japan, in the case of a crisis diplomatic efforts are more likely to be effective for softening and resolving the issue than military efforts.
Speaking about the Japan-China Summit Conference scheduled for next year, Kono voiced the wish that it take place in Okinawa. Not because it bears the base burden, he said, but because for some time it has been Okinawa’s role to provide a place for discussions pursuing peace.
After his lecture, during a question and answer session, Kono encouraged the All Okinawa Council, saying, “in order for Okinawans to make the national government accept their demands, it may seem a roundabout approach, but it is important that they show unwavering, unified popular opinion.”
(English translation by T&CT and Erin Jones)
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