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HOME  > Past issues  > 2018 May 23 - 29  > Rally held to block transport of landfill materials to US base construction site in Henoko
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2018 May 23 - 29 [US FORCES]

Rally held to block transport of landfill materials to US base construction site in Henoko

May 27 and 28, 2018

Citizens who oppose the transport of landfill materials from their hometowns to the offshore construction site for a new U.S. base in Okinawa’s Henoko district on May 27 gathered in Okinawa and resolved to strengthen their struggle.

The rally was called for by a nationwide liaison council of local groups working to prevent dirt and sand from being sent to the construction site in Henoko from outside Okinawa.

Around 80% of necessary landfill materials are scheduled to come from six prefectures in western Japan. In the rally, activists from the six prefectures appeared on the stage and reported on their experiences.

Mizobuchi Yuko of an anti-base group in Kagawa Prefecture, told the audience about her group’s activities. The group, for example, urged the prefectural government to put a halt to the transport of landfill materials and took to the streets to increase public awareness about the issue. She expressed her determination to attract peace-oriented young people to the group by informing them that dirt in Kagawa’s Shodoshima Island will be used to construct a U.S. base in Henoko.

The liaison council on the same day held its general meeting and decided to launch a signature collection campaign to demand that the central government stop putting landfill materials into the sea in Henoko. Prior to this campaign, the nationwide group collected 120,000 signatures on a petition opposing the transport of landfill materials and submitted the signatures to the Cabinet Office.

On the previous day in Tokyo, in solidarity with Okinawans opposing the Henoko base construction project, 10,000 people assembled near the Diet building and chanted, “Don’t destroy the beautiful sea!” and “Protect dugong!”

This action was hosted by the organizing committee which is comprised of an Okinawan group opposing the relocation of the U.S. military base to Henoko and the All-Out Action Committee consisting of trade unions and various civil groups which take action against Prime Minister Abe Shinzo’s anti-constitutional policies.

Japanese Communist Party Secretariat Head Koike Akira, representatives of the Constitutional Democratic and Social Democratic parties, and Okinawa-elected member of the House of Councilors Iha Yoichi delivered speeches. Koike said that it is unacceptable for the Abe government to push forward with the Henoko reclamation work in defiance of public opposition. He called on the audience to work to bring down Prime Minister Abe from power in order to block the construction of an alternative base to the U.S. Futenma base.

Past related articles:
> Okinawa to enact ordinance to regulate transport of landfill materials from outside prefecture [July 8, 2015]
> Local residents form group to protect their hometowns from having hand in supporting wars [June 1, 2015]
> Fishermen oppose carrying landfill materials to Henoko [November 30, 2014]
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