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SECURITY > Okinawa

33 Okinawa mayors wavering over referendum: survey

  • June 1, 2018
  • , Okinawa Times , p. 1
  • JMH Translation

The Okinawa Times conducted by May 31 a poll of the heads of 41 municipalities in Okinawa Prefecture on whether or not to hold a prefectural referendum on the land reclamation work off the Henoko district of Nago for the planned relocation of U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma. To this question, 7 of the respondents agreed to a prefectural referendum, with 1 disagreeing. And 16 said they are “undecided,” 10 said they “don’t know,” and 7 gave no answer. That sums up to 33 respondents who are undecided, which accounts for 80% of the total.

 

Many of those who are undecided cited the current lack of information for making a decision. Urasoe City Mayor Tetsuji Matsumoto said, “There is no detailed explanation” and Tomigusuku City Mayor Haruki Gibo and Ginowan City Mayor Atsushi Sakima said, “There is no information.” The results suggest that explaining more about a referendum to the Okinawa people and spreading their understanding for a referendum will be necessary for the “association for ‘Henoko’ referendum,” which is conducting a signature-collecting campaign for holding a referendum.

 

In the survey, the mayors were further asked whether they would “undertake” work for voting and vote counting. To this question, 13 answered “yes,” with no one saying “no,” 15 “undecided,” 6 “can’t say ‘yes’ or ‘no,'” and 7 gave no answer.

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