Lawmakers across Japan oppose government use of soil containing human remains

June 24, 2021 Ryukyu Shimpo


Tokyo—On June 23, Okinawa Memorial Day, local assembly members across Japan submitted a request to the government to refrain from using collected soil that was recently found to be containing human remains from the Battle of Okinawa. The request was sent to several addressees including the Ministry of Defense and opposed the construction of the new base in Okinawa’s Henoko, Nago City, as well as the use of said soil in its construction. The lawmakers who authored the request explained, “Using [soil containing] the remains of the war dead in the construction of a military base would be unforgivable.”


The request has 248 endorsements from current and former lawmakers and was sent to the Prime Minister, the Chief Cabinet Secretary, the Minister of Health, Labor and Welfare, the Speakers of the House of Councillors and the House of Representatives, and each political party.


In a press conference held after the request was submitted, Yasuko Igarashi, Tokyo’s Itabashi Ward Council Member, wondered, “How would the government justify [the soil use] to each of the deceased?” She added, “I don’t want the [government] conduct to be inhumane.”


(English translation by T&CT and Monica Shingaki)


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