High school students from across Japan visit Henoko to oppose new base construction
December 28, 2015 Ryukyu Shimpo
From early morning on December 27, citizens staged a sit-in to protest against the plan to move U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma to the Henoko district in Nago. In a nationwide peace protest rally project, 70 people, including 40 high school students and retired teachers from 12 prefectural and city governments, including Tokyo and Nagasaki, visited the U.S. Marine Camp Schwab’s gate. They deepened their understanding of the base issues of Okinawa and how people are protesting.
At the rally, high school students from outside of Okinawa interacted with Futenma High School students by touring battle sites in the southern part of Okinawa and Henoko. In Okinawa, the project started in 1996 and this is the fifth rally. The students earnestly listened to what Satoru Oshiro of the Okinawa Peace Movement Center and Nago Mayor Susumu Inamine talked about. Inamine came to Henoko to encourage the protesting citizens.
Sixteen-year-old Gaku Kasahara from Tokyo said, “The U.S. military bases could cause noise pollution, destruction of nature, and the imposing danger of Osprey. The bases should be eliminated from anywhere.” Kasahara went to on to say, “I don’t think that reclaiming land from the sea and building a new military base are beneficial.”
Ginowan resident and Futenma High School student Erina Motomura, who visited Henoko for the first time, said, “It is good to close Futenma Air Base because noise generated by military aircraft from the base stops our classes.
However, the story is different if the base is relocated within Okinawa. I think that the U.S. and Japanese governments impose the base-hosting burden on Okinawa.”
In Oura Bay, workers on a spud barge located on the Nagashima side and a large crane barge equipped with excavators appeared to continue carrying out work related to a boring survey. Leaving a part of the excavators, the crane barge slightly moved towards the beach in the afternoon of December 27.
(English translation by T&CT)
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