Prefectural rally of 1500 people gathers in Henoko to observe Okinawa’s day of humiliation and protest persistent issues

Prefectural rally of 1500 people gathers in Henoko to observe Okinawa’s day of humiliation and protest persistent issues

On April 28 in front of the gate to Camp Schwab in Henoko prefectural rally participants listen attentively to speakers protesting the overlarge share of the base burden.


April 29, 2018 Ryukyu Shimpo


April 28 marked 66 years since the day in 1952 that the San Francisco Peace Treaty came into effect and separated Okinawa from Japanese sovereignty, known to Okinawans as a day of humiliation.

A group pledging to never forget this day of humiliation held a prefectural rally in front of the gate to Camp Schwab.

According to the organizers, about 1500 people participated. As it has now been two years since the incident in which a young Okinawan woman was sexually assaulted and killed by a former Marine, at the beginning of the gathering all participants silently prayed together for the young woman’s happiness in the next world.


This rally was held to protest Okinawa’s overlarge share of the base burden, and to speak up against things related to Futenma Air Station’s relocation to Henoko such as the construction of a new base and the revision of Article 9 of the Constitution.

Tetsumi Takara, the head of the action committee of the group that organized the rally and a professor at the University of the Ryukyus’ Graduate School of Law, spoke on behalf of the rally’s organizers.

Talking about the day of humiliation, he said, “Our thoughts have been ignored. Okinawa was estranged from the Constitution, and our fundamental human rights, pacifism, and sovereignty have been removed from us.

” He went on speak about the new base in Henoko, saying, ”

Our sentiment against the base being built is also being ignored. Our humiliation has stretched on for 70 years.” Takara’s words criticized Japan’s stance on these issues.

Mamoru Nakamura of the Okinawa-Ken Toitsuren touched on the incident of the ex-Marine assaulting and killing the young Okinawan woman two years ago.

He mentioned, “Her father said, ‘It is an incident that occurred due to the presence of military bases. I wish that all U.S. military bases did not exist.’ With this considered, actions such as building a new base are unreasonable.”

The rally also addressed that the objectives of denuclearization efforts brought up in the inter-Korea summit on April 27 have been verified.

Emiko Miyagi, a representative of the Okinawa Peace Citizens’ Network said, “I support this move by North and South Korea, I don’t want to let them backtrack. If they can achieve peace, soon the bases here will not be needed.”

The construction of a new base in Henoko will continue in Oura Bay.

Chief Secretary Koshin Nakamoto of the Helicopter Base Objection Association spoke in a low voice, saying, “In the morning work will be conducted on the ocean. That place is the dugongs’ feeding ground. There are also precious corals there, and my heart aches badly for them.”

The rally participants raised the message: “From here on out, a matter of great importance is the activities of the Island-Wide Council. Let’s fight from this region to change politics.”


(English translation by T&CT and Erin Jones)


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