Bases in Okinawa – The Dispute Continues
by Trevor Stober
The resistance in Okinawa to US base presence is by no means a unified or singular peace movement. But when specific base-related incidents occur, Okinawan peace activists and local citizens rally together to make sure their message is heard.
Most recently, US Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy visited Okinawa. During one of her stops, she met with Nago mayor Susumu Inamine, an anti-base politician. His re-election was seen as a resounding affirmation of Nago citizens’ anti-base sentiment. He boldly promised legal difficulty if the planned movement of Futenma base from Ginowan to Nago goes ahead. For 18 years Okinawans have been expecting the movement of the Futenma base out of the densely populated city of Ginowan. Yet citizens in the city of Nago do not want the base brought to the beautifully rich natural environment of Henoko, at the Nago coastline. Many Okinawans want the base moved from the Prefecture altogether.
So this raises a number of complicated questions. The Japanese and US governments prefers the base to stay on Okinawa. Many locals seem to disapprove of the bases being in Okinawa—at least to such a large extent—at all. Anti-base sentiment seems to be rather high in the last few months. I wonder how this resistance will be met. As of now, it seems the base movement and construction is still set to begin in the near future.
(Other sources in “The Guardian,” “Ryukyu Shimpo – English,” and the “Associated Press”)
Stella and Daniel brainstorming upcoming episodes for the Gail Project. These web videos will showcase key features of the project: an historical background of WWII, the hardworking students, and much more! After meeting with Tosh Tanaka and Alan Christy on video production and editing, the two are excited to start experimenting with filming. Keep an eye out for upcoming news on the project!