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HOME  > Past issues  > 2019 February 13 - 19  > Okinawa-wide referendum officially announced
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2019 February 13 - 19 [POLITICS]

Okinawa-wide referendum officially announced

February 15, 2019
An official announcement of the prefecture-wide referendum was made on February 14 in Okinawa on whether to support the landfill work for the construction of a U.S. base in Henoko in Okinawa's Nago City. Voting will be held on February 24, except for some remote islands. The referendum offers three options: "support", "oppose", or "neither".

The ruling camp of the prefectural assembly which includes the Japanese Communist Party, and anti-base citizens' groups, following the announcement took to the streets in many locations in the prefecture to call on eligible Okinawans to cast "no" ballots.

In front of the prefectural government office building, anti-base "All Okinawa" Dietmembers and representatives of political parties gave speeches. JCP member of the Lower House Akamine Seiken said, "Let us teach the national government a lesson again that the base construction in Henoko is absolutely impermissible! Let us increase our 'no' campaign to jolt the Abe regime!"

In contrast, the prefectural assembly's opposition camp which consists of the Liberal Democratic Party, Komei, and Ishin no Kai kept silent, leaving the choice up to each supporter.

Under the related prefectural ordinance, if the number of the votes the largest-vote option received reaches a quarter of the total number of eligible voters, the governor must swiftly notify the result to both the Japanese prime minister and the U.S. president. As of February 13, the eligible population totals 1,156,295.

Past related articles:
> Revised ordinance will open door to ‘prefecture-wide’ referendum over Henoko base project [January 30, 2019]
> Citizens of Okinawa's 5 cities abstaining from Henoko vote demand equal opportunity to vote on the referendum [January 16 & 17, 2019]
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