People gathered at Henoko to carry on Governor Onaga’s intentions

People gathered at Henoko to carry on Governor Onaga’s intentions

At 8:00 a.m. on August 9 at the front of the gate to Camp Schwab in Henoko, Nago City, citizens offered silent prayers to Okinawa Prefectural Governor Takeshi Onaga who had died the previous day.


August 9, 2018 Ryukyu Shimpo


After the death of Okinawa Prefectural Governor Takeshi Onaga, who opposed the construction of the new base, on the morning of August 9 more than 200 people gathered in front of the U.S. military’s Camp Schwab in Henoko, Nago City to mourn Onaga’s death.


People were saying things like, “Governor Onaga did not waver until shortly before death; he was a real politician.” Some of those present wiped away tears.


Approximately 40 citizens gathered from 8:00 a.m. and offered silent prayers for the governor at the space between the fence set up on the sidewalk and the road.


Remembering Onaga’s political attitude, people shared thoughts such as, “Now is the time to unite and pass down Governor Onaga’s intentions.”


Throughout the morning, no construction vehicles hauled in any materials.

Citizens sharing their feelings for Governor Onaga with onlookers

Citizens marched while calling out, “Stop the construction of the new base,” and “Thank you, Governor Onaga.”


Many citizens thronged to the front of the gate.

People who could not enter the crowded tents sat at the bases of trees and on the grass.

Others stood and stared at the gathering. Each person cared deeply about Governor Onaga.


Citizens who came from all over the prefecture by bus held microphones and shared their feelings.

A woman who visited from Okinawa City said, “We talked [in the bus] about taking the Governor’s intentions and working harder [to stop new base construction].”

In the tents where the temperature rose with the strong sunlight, many citizens gazed at the speakers, nodding and applauding.

Some people read in the newspaper about Governor Onaga, his life, and the people closest to him.

Citizens marching and calling, “Stop illegal construction!”


At 11:02 a.m., the time when the atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, people offered silent prayers in the tent.


(English translation by T&CT and Megumi Chibana)

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