Nago residents celebrate Susumu Inamine for his completed terms as mayor

Nago residents celebrate Susumu Inamine for his completed terms as mayor

At Nago City Office on February 7 at 4:41 p.m., Susumu Inamine is lifted into the air, surrounded by many Nago residents. (Photograph by Takaya Kinra)


February 8, 2018 Ryukyu Shimpo


On February 7, a party to celebrate the end of Inamine’s term as mayor was held at the Nago City Office.


In his farewell address Inamine said, “The only regret weighing on my mind is the work I left unfinished. That is the issue of Henoko relocation. I made the judgement that new base construction is all harm for no gain, and I have complete consistency in thinking that we must not allow the new base to be built for the future of our children and for Nago City.”


With these words Inamine swore to remain involved in the Henoko issue as a concerned citizen.


Over 400 citizens came to the City Office and rushed up to Inamine to see him off after his two terms and eight years as mayor.

Flushed red with tears in their eyes, the Nago residents thanked Inamine for his troubles.

Leaving the City Office behind them, the smiling Nago residents lifted Inamine up above their heads four times, moving him with them on their way.

Deputy Mayor Masao Yamazato and Superintendent of Education Noriko Zamami also stepped down from their posts the same day.

Inamine said of the base problem, “Over the course of the last 20 years city residents have been at the mercy of national policy. Why are citizens of such a small town requesting national policy decisions? My heart is pained wondering how long this might go on.”


At times he choked on his words while speaking about the distress he felt day-to-day.

Citizens who rushed to see Inamine at his farewell party overflowed outside the City Office doors. Citizens rushed up in succession to tearfully share their words of gratitude with Inamine.

They said things such as: “Thanks to you we could live with peace of mind,” and “Thank you for your troubles, we won’t forget you.”


They also gave Inamine flowers.


A 29-year-old student who voted for Inamine for mayor commended Inamine’s approach in continuing to call for a halt to base construction as a concerned citizen. She said, “I hope you keep doing your best.”


(English translation by T&CT and Erin Jones)


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