1,300 people commemorate establishment of “All Okinawa Kaigi,”aimed at preventing Henoko base construction
December 15, 2015 Ryukyu Shimpo
December 14 marked the establishment of a new organization called the “All Okinawa Kaigi” to prevent the construction of a new base in Henoko. The organization is a broad-based coalition encompassing many political parties, citizens’ groups, and business organizations committed to preventing the construction of a new U.S. military base in Henoko, Nago. As the Okinawa prefectural government and the Japanese central government prepare for a showdown in court, the new organization aims to organize all the various groups that have participated in the movement against the Henoko base, and to rouse a new, wide-ranging wave of enthusiasm aimed at preventing the new base construction.
According to organizer estimates, 1,300 people participated in an event commemorating the organization’s establishment at the theater building of the Okinawa Convention Center in Ginowan on the 14th. Nago Mayor Susumu Inamine, All-Okinawa Council co-representative Suzuyo Takazato, and Kanehide Group chairman Morimasa Goya were inaugurated as representatives of the organization. In his speech, Mayor Inamine stated, “This mass movement will be our biggest source of strength.” Takazato said, “As we stand at this new point of departure, let us fight together to protect life and human rights.”
Governor Takeshi Onaga also attended the event. In his speech, he stated, “We will open up new prospects for the future of this struggle. If we provide a model to future generations of what it means to take responsibility for our future, our children and grandchildren will pave the way to a better twenty-first century for Okinawa.”
The new organization maintains the goals set forth in the Okinawa “Kempakusho” statement of removing the MV-22 Osprey vertical takeoff and landing aircraft from Okinawa and preventing the relocation of Marine Corps Air Station Futenma anywhere within Okinawa. It plans to work to prevent the planned construction of a new base in Henoko.
In addition to supporting the continuing protests at Henoko, organizing large-scale rallies, and gathering signatures, the new organization aims to rouse public opinion throughout Japan and the world by sending representatives to rallies and demonstrations nationwide and publishing opinion ads. Decisions within the “All Okinawa Kaigi” will be made by an executive body comprising twenty-two groups, including citizens’ groups like the All-Okinawa Council, labor organizations, and political parties; as well as local organizations from Okinawa’s various cities, towns and villages.
(English translation by T&CT and Sandi Aritza)
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