Oku assembly unanimously agrees to oppose port use for transport of Henoko base materials

Oku assembly unanimously agrees to oppose port use for transport of Henoko base materials

Ward residents gather at the ward assembly where a protest resolution was passed opposing use of Oku Port on the afternoon of November 23 in Oku, Kunigami


November 24, 2017 Ryukyu Shimpo


(Kunigami) In relation to the Okinawa Defense Bureau’s use of Oku Port in Kunigami as a spot from which to transport stone materials to be used in the construction of a new base in Henoko, Nago, on November 23, Oku Ward held an emergency assembly where a protest resolution opposing the use of Oku Port was passed unanimously.

Ward officials plan to draft the final text of the resolution at a meeting of on November 24 and to submit the resolution to the prefectural government and other official entities in the near future.

The ward’s resolution opposing the use of Oku’s port could have an impact on the transport of stone materials.


More than 40 people, representing one in four adults living in Oku, attended the assembly, and the resolution was approved to applause.

Ward head Moriya Itoman expressed his intent to participate in the protest actions, saying, “Ward residents are unanimous in their opposition to use of the port.

Until now, I had to refrain due to my position as ward head, but now I can participate [in the protest actions] without hesitation.”


At the assembly, ward residents spoke one after another about their opinions on the use of Oku Port in connection to the new base construction.

Tetsuya Kinjo, age 59, expressed anger, saying, “If so many trucks come to the port in this small village with its abundant nature, there is no doubt that traffic will become a mess.

I am resolutely opposed [to the use of Oku Port].”


On November 7, a representative from the Okinawa Defense Bureau visited the Oku Community Center and explained to ward head Itoman that the Bureau would transport stone materials from Oku Port starting in early November.

On November 10, a Bureau representative told Itoman by phone that the Bureau would use Oku Port on November 13. At that time, Itoman told the representative he wanted the Bureau to wait until a ward assembly was held, but the representative responded that the work would be carried out at the responsibility of the Okinawa Defense Bureau.


On November 13, the Okinawa Defense Bureau, ignoring the wishes of the ward leadership, pushed forward with oversea transport of materials from Oku Port, while Oku residents engaged in protest action at the port.


(English translation by T&CT and Sandi Aritza)


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