1,000 people rally in Tokyo for protection of the constitution and no base in Henoko

1,000 people rally in Tokyo for protection of the constitution and no base in Henoko

On May 26 in Hibiya Park in Tokyo, rally participants call for "a peaceful Okinawa devoid of military bases".

May 27, 2022 Ryukyu Shimpo

By Manato Akira


A rally called “construction of a new base in Henoko is not permitted and Okinawa and Japan are covered by the constitution, in Tokyo”, opposing the construction of the Futenma Replacement Facility (FRF) in Henoko, Nago City, was held at the Hibiya Open-Air Concert Hall in Tokyo on May 26 following the 50th anniversary of Okinawa being returned to Japanese sovereignty. About 1,000 people participated, and raised their voices to say “Protect the constitution”, “Stop building the new base in Henoko”, and the like. After the rally, the participants marched through the city.

Kazuhiro Katsushima, the person in charge of the Okinawa Project “Don’t Allow War, Don’t Destroy Article 9! Collective Action Committee” which hosted the rally, voiced the sense of crisis he feels by saying: “The return of Okinawa lacked any viewpoint for the protection of human rights. As fortification progresses, Okinawa is being used as a sacrifice stone by the mainland and America.” (Translator’s note: The term “sacrifice stone” relates the game go, and refers to a stone that a player allows to be captured by the opponent.)

Genpei Ishikawa is the former head of the Okinawa Teachers Union, and worked as a secretary for Chobyo Yara, the first publicly elected chief executive of the Government of the Ryukyu Islands. In a video message, Ishikawa explained that, “Through the tragedies of the Battle of Okinawa, the purely Okinawan pacificistic concepts of ‘life is a treasure’ and ‘life itself is a treasure’ were attained”, and he also gave an introduction about the peace movement before and after Okinawa’s return. In his later years, Chobyo Yara repeatedly voiced his contrite feelings that: “Okinawa must not suffer through being sacrificed at the hands of state authorities a second time.”

At the rally, National Diet members belonging to the Constitutional Democratic Party, Communist Party, Social Democratic Party, and the House of Councillors faction called Okinawa Whirlwind also took the podium.

(English translation by T&CT and Erin Jones)


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