Okinawa Governor Denny Tamaki declares Henoko construction “anti-democratic” in speech at Waseda University

Okinawa Governor Denny Tamaki declares Henoko construction “anti-democratic” in speech at Waseda University

Governor Denny Tamaki asking people outside of Okinawa to understand the U.S. military base situation in Okinawa. April 25, Waseda University in Tokyo

April 28, 2019 Ryukyu Shimpo

Okinawa Governor Denny Tamaki gave a speech at Waseda University in Tokyo April 25, in which he described the situation in Okinawa as, “a situation that continues to be what can only be thought of as anti-democratic.

I want everyone to see the land reclamation at Henoko in Nago City as a reflection of the state of democracy in Japan,” asking the roughly 700 audience members to think about the nature of democracy for each and every citizen.

In his speech he also referenced the killing of a woman in Chatan by a U.S. sailor, and the rape and murder of a woman by an ex-Marine three years prior, saying, “Even though they say they are working to prevent these things from reoccurring and to strengthen discipline, it keeps happening.

The loss of the lives of your fellow citizens is regrettable, and we cannot help but feel fierce anger.

” Tamaki also touched on the U.S. aircraft parts that fell onto the school grounds of a nursery school and an elementary school, and indicated that the actions taken by the Japanese government towards the U.S. in response to these incidents have been weak.

When talking about his first half-year in office, Tamaki reflected, “Half of this job is the base problem. When an unexpected incident occurs, a statement has to be put out as an initial response.

Part of my job as governor has been to tell you all that these security issues are not just an Okinawan problem, but an issue for Japan as a whole.”

Tamaki explained that the Marines were relocated to Okinawa after having originally been stationed on Japan’s main island, and stressed that the burden of Japan-U.S. security treaty was being unevenly distributed to Okinawa, stating, “I want you all to understand that the bases in Okinawa were built by the forceful seizure of land.

The reality of the Japan-U.S. security treaty is not in close by, and therefore it is invisible to you all. The reality of the Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) has been obscured as well.

I want you all to accept these realities.”

Jinshiro Motoyama, the representative from the group that put together the earlier referendum vote regarding base construction in Henoko, also took the state to talk about the effort involved with realizing the vote, saying, “I want you to think about how to spread this information to the people around you.”

(English translation by T&CT and Sam Grieb)

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