During lawsuit Onaga states local autonomy will fail if all decisions are made on national level

August 4, 2016 Ryukyu Shimpo

On August 3, the Okinawa Prefectural Government submitted written statements to the Fukuoka High Court from Governor of Okinawa Takeshi Onaga and Mayor of Nago City Susumu Inamine. The statements relate to a case the central government brought against the prefectural government, contesting the legality of Governor Onaga’s nullification of the landfill permit that would accompany Futenma Air Station relocation to Henoko.

In his statement Onaga wrote that if the central government acts unlawfully, and all decisions come to be made on ideas at the national level, then local autonomy will become inert. He also mentioned that on the local level would remain tenaciously into Japan’s future.

Touched by the resurge of the resentment felt against incidents by U.S. military affiliated persons at the time of the incident of assault and murder by a U.S. base employee in May, Onaga affirmed that Okinawans will not allow themselves to be made scapegoats. He went on to present his vision of Okinawa’s future not as a position of defense, but as a bridge contributing peace and stability throughout East Asia. Furthermore, he called to attention that, “We must not give up on the natural way that we decide for ourselves things that are our own concerns.”

In relation to this lawsuit being brought to court, Onaga pointed out the concluded suggestion from the Committee for Settling National-Local Disputes for a meeting, saying, “As long as a meeting cannot be convened, there is no indication of how to correct [this situation], or even assess the validity of [this lawsuit].” in response to the government’s hasty lawsuit he asked, “Should [the central government] not be faulted for ignoring the Committee’s conclusion?”

Mayor Inamine explained the circumstances surrounding the construction of a new base in Henoko, the effects it will have on the environment, and similar details. Inamine brought up the current issue of Okianwa’s concentration of military bases, touching on the Japanese Navy’s Vice-Admiral Minoru Ota’s words during wartime Okinawa. Ota asked that Okinawans be given special consideration from that day (June 6, 1945) forward, due to the suffering they had endured during the Battle of Okinawa.

(English translation by T&CT and Erin Jones)

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