Morimasa Goya resigns from All-Okinawa Coalition but will continue opposing Henoko base

Morimasa Goya resigns from All-Okinawa Coalition but will continue opposing Henoko base

Morimasa Goya

March 1, 2018 Ryukyu Shimpo

On February 28 it came to light that Morimasa Goya, the chairman of Kanehide Holdings, has stepped down from his post as a co-representative of the All-Okinawa Coalition. The Coalition is an organization established by those who aim to prevent construction of the new Henoko base including the majority party in the Okinawa Prefectural Assembly, labor unions, civic groups, and people in the business world. It is trying to persuade Goya to stay on as its co-representative, but he has already submitted his resignation letter. Goya says he is stepping down in response to the defeat of Susumu Inamine in the Nago mayoral election on February 4. Inamine ran on the platform of obstructing construction of the new base in Henoko, and Goya supported him. However, Goya says that he continues to support Governor Takeshi Onaga, and remains unchanged in his aim to stop new base construction.

Goya also pushed for the All-Okinawa Coalition to start a movement calling for a prefectural referendum concerning the Henoko base, but his proposal was rejected during discussions during which Goya himself was not heard out. Later he said, “Regardless of our positions [on the issue] or the outcome [of the referendum], as Okinawans we should express our determination. I will keep pushing for a prefectural referendum.”

Furthermore, in May Goya intends to establish a group for Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) Diet members who show understanding toward Okinawans’ point of view in calling for alleviation of Okinawa’s overlarge share of the base burden. He said, “In order to prevent new base construction from both conservative and liberal camps, I want to expand a wing that supports the governor.”

According to the All-Okinawa Coalition, the resignation of a leader in Okinawa’s business community such as Goya throws into question the nature of the organization. Goya said, “For the sake of our children and grandchildren, my determination to prevent construction of the new base in Henoko is unwavering.” He explained that upon leaving the Coalition he would act as a bridge between the organization and others with similar goals, and asserted that this is not a sign of All-Okinawa weakening.

(English translation by T&CT and Erin Jones)

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