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HOME  > Past issues  > 2019 January 9 - 15  > LDP Dietmember teaches LDP municipal assemblypersons in Okinawa how to block Henoko referendum
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2019 January 9 - 15 TOP3 [POLITICS]

LDP Dietmember teaches LDP municipal assemblypersons in Okinawa how to block Henoko referendum

January 14 & 15, 2019
A Liberal Democratic Party parliamentarian has distributed to LDP members in municipal assemblies in Okinawa a manual of tactics to use to interfere with the coming prefectural referendum over the landfill work for the construction of a U.S. base in Nago’s Henoko district.

This was made public on January 12 at a speech gathering held by a conservative organization in Urasoe City in Okinawa with the aim of preventing Okinawan municipalities from cooperating in holding the referendum.

At the gathering, as a guest speaker, Goya Hitoshi, who is an LDP member in the Ginowan City Assembly, reported on how the pro-base group in December 2018 succeeded in having the city assembly adopt a statement objecting to the Henoko referendum. In his report, he said that at a study meeting organized by pro-base assemblymembers to draft the statement, lawyer-turned LDP Lower House member Miyazaki Masahiko distributed to the participants handouts on ways to hinder the prefecture-wide referendum and gave a lecture based on the handouts.

Miyazaki in his documents explained the reason why the referendum should not be held. He said that the prefectural ordinance on the referendum fails to give an account of how to remove the U.S. Futenma base in case anti-Henoko forces win a majority in the referendum. He also cast doubts on the referendum from a cost-effectiveness perspective. He then pointed to the importance of blocking the holding of a referendum and proposed that each local assembly adopt a statement opposing the referendum or turn down a budget bill for the holding of the referendum.

In response to an Akahata inquiry, Miyazaki admitted that he compiled the manual and handed out copies to pro-base Okinawa assemblypersons. He said that a study meeting using his manual took place in Ginowan and Uruma cities between November and December 2018.

As of now, along with the Ginowan city mayor, the mayors of Ishigaki, Miyakojima, Okinawa, and Uruma cities expressed their refusal to join the prefectural referendum. All of them were elected with the backing of the LDP. The reasons given to justify their refusal mirrored the tactics described in Miyazaki’s manual.

Past related articles:
> Okinawa to hold prefectural referendum over Henoko base project in February 2019 [November 28, 2018]
> Okinawans petition prefectural gov’t to hold referendum on US base construction in Henoko [September 6, 2018]
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