Director Isao Takahata makes appeal to (the President), requesting halt on Takae Helipad construction in open letter signed by over 100 people
December 6 2016 Ryukyu Shimpo
With the handover of the majority of land occupied by the U.S. military in the Northern Training Area (NTA) in Okinawa set to take place at the end of the month, over 100 people representing 27 groups including members of the Diet, scholars, celebrities, and citizens groups have a signed an emergency open letter to President Obama. The letter is requesting an immediate halt on forced construction in the NTA which continues to be an environmental burden and blatant disregard of public opinion. Advocates for the construction stoppage and the contents of the letter were announced at a Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan press conference in Tokyo on December 7.
In addition to House of Representatives member Seiken Akamine and House of Councillors member Keiko Itokazu, anime director Isao Takhata, and journalist and documentary maker Chie Mikami all signed their names to the letter. Advocates for the stoppage are expected to increase hereafter. The letter touches on the Japanese government’s outrageous policies, the situation thrust upon Okinawan residents, and Okinawa’s valuable natural environment.
One representative member, Hitomi Tsuji, noted, “Citizens have to this point made various appeals to the Japanese government, however none of them have yielded a reasonable response.” Additionally, she stressed that, “as the handover date approaches, we are left with no choice but to appeal directly to the President, government, and people of the United States, in hopes that they take interest in the problem as the centrally concerned party.”
(Translated by T&CT and Sam Grieb)
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