(Tokyo Shimbun: December 15, 2015 – p. 1)
Local lawmakers, business leaders, and others opposed to the relocation of the U.S. forces’ Futenma Air Station (in Ginowan City, Okinawa) to Henoko, Nago City, held an inaugural meeting in Ginowan City on Dec. 14 to launch the “all-Okinawa conference to stop the construction of the new Henoko base,” a new body unifying about 20 anti-Henoko relocation groups. According to the organizers, some 1,300 people supporting this cause attended the meeting.
The members of this new group include the Japanese Communist Party, the Social Democratic Party (SDP), and other political parties; local companies; and citizens’ groups. The organization is also meant to be a coalition of groups supporting Governor Takeshi Onaga. It will probably make its presence felt in the House of Councillors election next summer.
In his speech at the meeting, Onaga said: “Our children and grandchildren will look at what we have done when they open up a new future for Okinawa. Let us unite as one and do our best.”
Hiroto Isa, 19, from the university students’ group SEALDs Ryukyu, stated: “The sea in Henoko is the source of the local people’s livelihoods. It is not a place where the government can make an arbitrary decision to build a military base.”
The new group declared that its objective is to “give full support to Governor Onaga’s struggle” and that it is an “organization for drawing up a strategy for victory against the government’s enormous power and to have overall control over the struggle.”