Okinawa governor delivers speech in New York, hoping diversity can encourange peace

Okinawa governor delivers speech in New York, hoping diversity can encourange peace

Attendees listening to Governor Denny Tamaki’s speech on November 11 at New York University


November 13, 2018 Ryukyu Shimpo

By Special Correspondent Yukiyo Zaha


For the first time following taking office, Governor Denny Tamaki chose New York as his first stop in the U.S. About 140 people gathered for his speech in which he said, “Okinawa’s diversity is a person like me; women who emigrated to the U.S. after marrying a U.S. soldier; children who were passed down the Okinawan soul from their parents; and the many soldiers and civilian personnel that have been stationed in Okinawa. I want people to take this diversity and drive a democracy that takes pride in further diversity.”

He also called out to the audience to start a wave of change to prevent the new base construction in Henoko, Nago City by beginning to take action in New York, “The City of Diversity.”


Governor Tamaki’s father is a former U.S. military soldier, while his mother is Okinawan.

He touched on his background and regarding Okinawa’s diversity, he said, “Okinawan citizens, while needing the strength to live, cannot afford to lose chimugukuru (the spirit/heart) and sincerity as their identity.

This is the soul that they take pride in.”


Regarding both the Japanese and U.S. governments forcing their way through with the construction of the new base, he said, “The doors to government and law are on the verge of closing.

We’re facing a harsh reality.” To break the deadlock in the current situation in which the will of the people is not being reflected, he said, “We want you (the U.S. citizens) to ask (the U.S. government) to deliver the pride of U.S. democracy to Okinawa.”

He thereby called on the citizens to urge this of the U.S. government.


When asked what he would like to accomplish while in office, he answered that his first order of business was preventing the new base construction in Henoko.

At the same time, he said, “I’d like to hold a women’s conference inviting Asia’s top leaders and the First Lady to Okinawa.”

Following this, there was a round of applause by the audience.


Seth Glossman, 48, who lives in New York said, “I hadn’t known much about the U.S. military bases in Okinawa or the environmental issues surrounding them. But today was a good experience. I would like to do what I can.”


Yoko Nakano, 42, who is from Okinawa and who used to live in New York during her school days said, “Continuation is key. There are many Okinawan people who think of Okinawa and want to contribute. It would be good to have Uchinanchu from around the world come up with ideas. If a women’s conference is to be hosted, then I’d like to see women get appointed to the prefectural offices.”


(English translation by T&CT and Chelsea Ashimine)


Go to Japanese


Previous Article:
Next Article:

[Similar Articles]