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HOME  > Past issues  > 2013 January 23 - 29  > Okinawa’s municipal leaders rally in Tokyo for withdrawal of Ospreys
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2013 January 23 - 29 [OKINAWA]

Okinawa’s municipal leaders rally in Tokyo for withdrawal of Ospreys

January 28, 2013
With the attendance of leaders of all 41 local governments and assemblies in Okinawa Prefecture, a rally seeking the withdrawal of the Osprey deployment took place on January 27 in Tokyo.

The rally was held by the organizing committee of the 2012 September anti-Osprey rally in Okinawa in which more than 100,000 people took part.

In yesterday’s rally, more than 4,000 participants from across the nation resolved that in solidarity with Okinawan consensus, they will strengthen their struggles to put an end to the Osprey deployment as well as force the closure and the removal of the U.S. Futenma base.

Onaga Takeshi, Naha City Mayor and head of the city mayors’ group in Okinawa, described U.S. military bases as the strongest barrier to development of the prefecture’s local economy. Criticizing Primer Minister Abe’s attitude toward base issues in Okinawa, Onaga said, “The prime minister talks about policies to ‘revive Japan’. His policies, however, seem to not apply to Okinawa.”

Okinawa Prefectural Assembly Chair Kina Masaharu said, “Just like Okinawans, nearly 140 municipalities located under the flight routes of Ospreys’ planned training throughout Japan will face the danger of crashes. We, Okinawan people, will protect the peace and safety in our daily lives in solidarity with all the people throughout Japan.”

Secretary general of the organizing committee of the Okinawa’s massive rally Tamaki Kazuyoshi said, “It is impossible for Okinawa alone to resolve the U.S. base issues in Okinawa. I call on all of you here to launch a public movement at your workplaces and communities as well as with your friends.”

After the rally, representatives from Okinawa together with other participants paraded through Tokyo’s major shopping district in Ginza, showing passers-by placards reading, “No, Ospreys!” and “Don’t fly defective aircraft!”

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