Berkeley City Assembly resolves to oppose new base construction in Henoko

September 17, 2015 Ryukyu Shimpo Sakae Toiyama reports from Washington D.C.

In the evening of September 15, the City Assembly of Berkeley California unanimously resolved to oppose the planned relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma to the Henoko district of Nago, and promote solidarity with Okinawa. It is the first time a local assembly in the United States has resolved to oppose the Henoko relocation.

The resolution outlines the situation in Okinawa where U.S military bases in Japan are concentrated. It states that U.S. military bases account for 18 percent of the landmass of the main island of Okinawa, exposing residents to military aircraft noise pollution, aircraft accidents, and crimes involving military personnel. The resolution also states that Takeshi Onaga who opposes the Henoko relocation, won the Okinawa gubernatorial election, and that 80.2 percent of Okinawan people oppose the planned construction according to a survey carried out by the Ryukyu Shimpo.

The resolution makes four demands, calling on the U.S. Department of Defense to comply with the National Historic Preservation Act and the Marine Mammal Commission, and re-examine the plan. It asks the U.S. government to give up on the new base’s construction.

The assembly will send the resolution to President Barack Obama.

The City of Berkeley Peace and Justice Commission Diana Bohn proposed the resolution on May 4. While eight assembly members favored the resolution, three abstained from the vote.

Bohn said that she was glad the resolution supporting Okinawan people was adopted. She added that she wanted the U.S. government to change its policy and that this adopted resolution would raise American people’s awareness of Okinawan people’s struggles.

(English translation by T&CT)

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