Nago City Assembly asks the U.S. and Japanese governments to stop the construction of a new base in Henoko

October 17, 2014 Ryukyu Shimpo

The U.S. and Japanese governments are building a new base in the Henoko district of Nago for replacement of U.S. Marine Corps Futenma Air Station, for which they began marine boring investigations in August. A majority of the Nago City Assembly members resolved to ask the governments to stop the investigations immediately and give up the relocation plan with 15 in favor and 11 opposed. They filed a written opinion regarding the issue.

In the statement, they highlighted Susumu Inamine’s re-election as mayor of Nago this January, and a petition to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe filed by the mayors of the municipalities in Okinawa requesting the easing of the base-hosting burden.

They criticized the Japanese government for denying democracy and squashing the morale of Okinawan people by forcing through the construction. They said that they could not tolerate such treatment.

The assembly members pointed out that although the government of Japan (GOJ) claims to have sought the understanding of Okinawan people, it is nonetheless carrying out construction despite the environmental impact assessment for the plan being deemed unsatisfactory. They also accused the GOJ of trying to invalidate the jurisdiction of the Nago Mayor by attempting to force through modifications to part of the construction methods for reclaiming the sea at Henoko . The written opinion stated, “A sense of distrust and anger among Okinawan people has hit a peak.” This is the first time the city assembly members have asked to stop the construction of the new base since the last city council election in September.

(English translation by T&CT)

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