Petition to hold referendum on Henoko construction submitted to Okinawan government with 92,848 signatures

September 6, 2018 Ryukyu Shimpo


The “Henoko Okinawa Referendum Committee,” (Jinshiro Motoyama, representative), which is demanding a referendum be held in Okinawa to decide whether or not to allow land reclamation at Henoko in Nago City as part of the relocation of MCAS Futenma, submitted their ordinance application directly to vice governor Kiichiro Jahana September 5.

Vice governor Moritake Tomikawa, the current acting governor, has until September 20 to call a session of the Okinawa Prefectural Assembly, where it will be presented as a bill.

Henoko Okinawa Referendum Committee representative Jinshiro Motoyama (left) presenting vice governor Kiichiro Jahana (right) with the referendum application. September 5, Okinawa Prefectural Office Press Club


Motoyama and the committee visited the prefectural office to submit the proposed referendum as well as the supporting signatures.

Motoyama said, “We expect the smooth cooperation of the assembly, who should seriously consider the will of the Okinawan people, deliberate the bill, and then approve it to be put to a referendum vote quickly.”


Kiichiro Jahana, vice governor who accepted the application, stated, “I think (the late) Governor Onaga would be greatly pleased by the large number of signatures collected in such a short time.”

After being reviewed by local election committees, a total of 92,848 valid signatures were gathered by the referendum committee from 41 towns and cities in Okinawa.

A gross total of 100,950 signatures were gathered, but a number of them were invalidated due to things like ink bleeding rendering some seals unreadable.


When the bill is presented to the assembly, the acting governor will also give a statement outlying their position.

However, it is predicted that regardless of intent, only the wording and phrasing of the bill will be edited.

When the bill is presented before the assembly, a representative from the resident referendum committee will also have a chance to make a statement outlying their position to the assembly.

If the bill is approved as expected, within 6 months of the official announcement it will be put to a vote.

The referendum put forth by the committee will ask residents if they support or oppose land reclamation at Henoko, Nago City for the purposes of new U.S. military base construction.

Whichever response receives the majority of votes as well as a vote total exceeding 25% of all registered voters will be presented to the governor of Okinawa, who will have to act in accordance with the result.


Okinawa Referendum Timeline:


9/5: The Referendum Committee submits the application to the prefectural office -> Within 20 Days -> The acting governor will convene the Okinawa Prefectural Assembly to present the application for bill creation


9/30: Okinawa gubernatorial election


The Okinawa Prefectural Assembly will review and approve the bill and other related items


Spring 2019: Referendum voting to take place


(English translation by T&CT and Sam Grieb)


Go to Japanese


Previous Article:
Next Article:

[Similar Articles]