Researchers in Okinawa release statement “Okinawa Defense Bureau trampled local autonomy”

Researchers in Okinawa release statement “Okinawa Defense Bureau trampled local autonomy”

On October 30 at the Prefectural Office, Mr. Norikazu Kameyama (from left), Ms. Emiko Miyagi, Mr. Masaaki Gabe, Mr. Tetsumi Takara, and Mr. Hiroto Tokuda released a protest statement directed toward the central government.


October 31, 2018 Ryukyu Shimpo


On October 30, five Okinawan researchers including University of the Ryukyus professors Hiroto Tokuda and Masaaki Gabe held a press conference and released a statement criticizing the Okinawa Defense Bureau for requesting that the Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism suspend revocation of the land reclamation permit.


The statement said, “The Defense Bureau’s conduct violently trampled the democratic local autonomy guaranteed by the Constitution.”

Sixty-seven researchers and professors in Okinawa specializing in law, sociology, and natural sciences signed onto this statement, including some from the University of the Ryukyus.


Volunteers visited the Okinawa Defense Bureau to personally deliver the statement and urge that the permit revocation be reinstated.

On the same day in response to the Ministry’s decision to suspend revocation, the volunteers also submitted a document denouncing this decision as “totally unjust and extremely regrettable.”


This statement points out that a national institution, the Defense Bureau, attempted to overturn Okinawa’s methods by using the Administrative Appeal Act, which is meant to protect the people’s rights.

The statement says, “It is an institutional abuse and an absolutely unacceptable act in a constitutional nation.”

Because the one making the decision is the Land Minister, the statement asserts that, “The third-party nature of the situation, neutrality, and impartiality are all issues.

It is a mechanism that will certainly pass the request.“ As such, “The government will surely be able to overturn the prefectural governor’s measures, forcing local autonomy, a pillar of the Constitution, into subordination to the nation’s interests.”


Norikazu Kameyama, Assistant Professor of Agriculture at the University of the Ryukyus, said, “As a researcher, I cannot remain silent as the government unabashedly tramples public sentiment clearly expressed through the gubernatorial election.”

On October 26, 110 administrative law researchers nationwide signed and released a similar statement.


(English translation by T&CT and Megumi Chibana)


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