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HOME  > Past issues  > 2018 December 19 - 2019 January 8  > Okinawans’ protest against Henoko base project receives solidarity from abroad
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2018 December 19 - 2019 January 8 [POLITICS]
column 

Okinawans’ protest against Henoko base project receives solidarity from abroad

December 21, 2018

Akahata ‘current’ column

A growing number of people have signed an online petition requesting President Donald Trump to suspend the landfill work at Okinawa’s Henoko district to construct a U.S. base until the prefectural referendum over the issue takes place. The number of electronic signatures on the petition surpassed the 100,000 mark in just ten days after the launch of the signature collection drive and is still growing. With the number reaching 100,000, the minimum number of signatures required, the U.S. government will examine the petition issues and officially make a response to the request within 60 days.

In addition to the online signature drive, actions in solidarity with Okinawans take place even outside Japan. Recently, protest actions opposing the launch of the Henoko landfill were staged simultaneously in seven U.S. cities including Washington D.C., in support of Okinawans.

The international environmental organization WWF Japan has released a protest statement against the Japanese government, saying that reclamation activities will pose a threat to the natural environment in Henoko. The Committee of Seven to Appeal for World Peace, a civil group consisting of seven prominent Japanese intellectuals, has issued an appeal calling on the public to not accept the government stance to keep ignoring Okinawans’ will and refusing to hold talks with them.

A wide range of citizens have been standing up for Okinawa. Accepting the encouragement from outside Okinawa, Governor Tamaki Denny has expressed his appreciation by saying how wonderful it is to know that many people elsewhere are with the Okinawans. Each person’s act of voicing opposition will eventually lead to an impasse for the oppressive government.

Past related articles:
> Abe gov’t forcibly begins filling landfill areas in sea off Henoko [December 15, 2018]
> Okinawa to hold prefectural referendum over Henoko base project in February 2019 [November 28, 2018]
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