U.S. Veterans for Peace officially oppose Henoko construction, ask for nationwide support

December 11, 2016 Ryukyu Shimpo
Washington Special Correspondent Sakae Toiyama reporting
Veterans for Peace (VFP), a peace organization created by retired military service people with 120 chapters throughout the U.S. passed a pair or resolutions concerning military base construction in Okinawa on December 10. The first resolution called for a halt on the construction of new facilities in Henoko in Nago as part of the relocation of Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Futenma. The second was an emergency resolution calling for a halt on new helipad construction in the Takae area of Higashi as part of the partial return to Japan of the majority of the land in the Northern Training Area (NTA). Representatives from each VFP chapter initially passed both resolutions in August at their annual convention, however this time the resolutions were officially ratified by a majority vote of all VFP members.

Douglas Lummis, representative of the VFP Ryukyu-Okinawa Chapter (VFP-ROCK) which proposed the resolution, and lecturer at Okinawa Christian University, commented, “We can encourage various chapters to take action against the problems in Okinawa.” With the passage of this resolution, VFP-ROCK will continue to work with assemblies throughout the U.S. to pass additional resolutions opposing new base construction.

In the written resolution opposing this new construction in Henoko, the VFP stressed that both Okinawa Governor Takeshi Onaga and Nago Mayor Susumu Inamine oppose the construction. Additionally, it requested that each chapter work towards with bodies such as local legislatures to pass resolutions calling for: 1. the withdrawal of all Marines of the Futenma 1st Marine Aircraft Wing 2. Revoking plans for new base construction, and 3. Removing all of the Osprey helicopters from Okinawa.

(Translation by T&CT and Sam Grieb)

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