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HOME  > Past issues  > 2018 August 8 - 14  > 70K Okinawans in rally mourn Onaga’s death with renewed determination to block Henoko base construction
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2018 August 8 - 14 [POLITICS]

70K Okinawans in rally mourn Onaga’s death with renewed determination to block Henoko base construction

August 12, 2018
Braving the wet weather due to the influence of Typhoon Yagi, 70,000 Okinawans wearing something blue rallied on August 11, in accordance with the late Governor Onaga’s wishes, determined anew to force the Abe government to give up on the Henoko base project.

In a rally held in a park in Okinawa’s capital city of Naha, Vice Governor Jahana Kiichiro, who is now the acting governor, said, “I’ll work to fulfill Governor Onaga Takeshi’s promise to not allow the construction of a new U.S. base in the Henoko district to proceed.” Jahana expressed his intent to cancel the Henoko reclamation approval given by Onaga’s predecessor.

Onaga’s youngest son Takeharu appeared on the stage and delivered a speech. In his speech, Onaga Takeharu conveyed what his father often said: the construction of a new U.S. base has no valid reason. He also said that even in hospital, his father was examining related-materials to his last remaining breath to find a way to put a stop to the Henoko project. Onaga’s son went on to say, “The prefectural people’s consensus opposing the new military base in Okinawa has contributed to the formation of ‘All-Okinawa’. I’ll work hard so that my father in heaven can know the success of the anti-Henoko base campaign.”

Naha City Mayor Shiroma Mikiko who was Onaga’s classmate in high school, All-Okinawa Council co-head Takara Tetsumi, and other speakers delivered speeches.

Holding placards that read, “No to new U.S. base!” “Never give up!”, the 70,000 participants resolved to prevent the Abe government from placing fill materials into the sea area off Henoko, which is scheduled to begin August 17.

Japanese Communist Party Secretariat Head Koike Akira together with JCP members of the House of Representatives (Akamine Seiken and Tamura Takaaki) and the JCP Okinawa Prefectural Assembly members’ group took part in the rally.

* * *

On this day, in solidarity with Okinawans, rallies and various street actions, including silent demonstrations, took place across Japan from Hokkaido to Kagoshima.

In Tokyo, 2,800 people held a rally in a park in Toshima Ward. Delivering a speech on behalf of the organizing committee, Fujimoto Yasunari of the All-Out Action Committee consisting of trade unions and a wide range of civil organizations referred to the frequent occurrence of crimes by U.S. military personnel and accidents involving U.S. military aircraft. He said, “U.S. military bases only endanger Okinawan people’s lives. In solidarity with the antibase campaign in Okinawa, let us work even harder to remove the U.S. military presence in Japan that poses threats to the lives and property of the general public.”

After the rally, holding a banner reading, “Block the Henoko project in accordance with Onaga’s wish”, the 2,800 people marched in demonstration through a busy downtown street near Ikebukuro Station.

Past related article:
> Okinawans support anti-base governor's decision [July 28, 2018]
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