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HOME  > Past issues  > 2018 August 8 - 14  > We will never extinguish anti-base 'All Okinawa' flame: Okinawans on the death of Gov. Onaga
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2018 August 8 - 14 TOP3 [POLITICS]

We will never extinguish anti-base 'All Okinawa' flame: Okinawans on the death of Gov. Onaga

August 10, 2018

Okinawa Governor Onaga Takeshi, a man who held firm to his conviction to resist the construction of a U.S. base in Henoko in Okinawa's Nago City, died of pancreatic cancer on August 8. He was the symbol of an "All Okinawa" bond, regardless of whether one identifies oneself as a progressive or a conservative.

Reacting to news of his death, many people who have been fighting against U.S. bases in Okinawa and the rest of Japan expressed their condolences and became more determined than ever to win a victory in the September gubernatorial election in accordance with Onaga's position held to the end.

On the evening of August 8, Okinawa representative Akamine Seiken (Japanese Communist Party) faced the corpse of Onaga at the hospital. Akamine said, "What he left for us is the cause to continue the fight for an Okinawa without military bases to the next generation. To achieve this and for Okinawa's future, we must unite by overcoming the progressive-conservative division."

The following day, people one after another, including JCP Okinawa Prefectural assemblypersons' group head Toguchi Osamu and local leaders of other political parties, made condolence visits to Onaga's home in Naha City.

JCP Toguchi said that there was a blue cap next to Onaga's body, the cap Onaga was going to wear for the August 11 Okinawans' rally where all participants will put on something blue to demonstrate Okinawa's demand for no more U.S. bases. Toguchi with his firm resolve said, "Governor Onaga had always held his own, carrying the flame of 'All Okinawa'. We won't extinguish this flame."

In front of the gate of U.S. Camp Schwab in Henoko, from early in the morning, many people gathered to mourn the governor's death.

A Henoko inhabitant in his early 60s said, "He was a politician conveying the Okinawa's heart for his life. We won't disappoint him. We will win in the gubernatorial election!"

JCP Chair Shii Kazuo in the Akahata dated August 9 offered his deep respect and heartfelt appreciation to the departed.

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