Tens of Thousands Rally to Kick US Base Off Okinawa
Tens of thousands of protesters in Okinawa vowed to stop the planned relocation of a U.S military base, saying they want it off the southern Japanese island entirely. Opponents of the relocation say the plan to move U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma from a crowded neighborhood to a less populated coastal site would not only be an environmental debacle but also ignore local wishes to remove the base. About 70,000 people gathered Saturday at a park in the state capital of Naha under pouring rain ahead of an approaching typhoon and observed a moment of silence for Okinawa’s governor, Takeshi Onaga, who died Wednesday of cancer. Successor takes up the fight Onaga, elected in 2014, had spearheaded opposition to the relocation and criticized the central government for ignoring the voices of Okinawans. He had filed lawsuits against the central government and said he planned to revoke a landfill permit issued by his predecessor that is needed for construction of the new base. Deputy Gov. Kiichiro Jahana, representing Onaga at Saturday’s rally, said he will follow through with the revocation process as instructed by the governor and carry on his “strong determination and passion.” Okinawans are trying to block the government plan to start dumping soil into Henoko Bay within days to make a landfill for the new site of the Futenma base. Environmental groups say construction at the bay risks corals and endangered dugongs, an aquatic mammal similar to a manatee. The protesters held up signs saying “Henoko new base, NO!” and “Okinawans will not give up,” as they chanted slogans. They also adopted a resolution demanding the central government to immediately scrap the relocation plan. Okinawa-Japan rift Japan’s government says the current plan is the only solution, but many Okinawans want the base off the island. About half... If you wish to read this full breaking news headline, plus more articles from around Thailand and Asia like, Tens of Thousands Rally to Kick US Base Off Okinawa, simply click on 'Read full story' below, but 1st please give us a 'LIKE' or 'SHARE' before you leave. Thank you
Published By: VOA NEWS - Sunday, 12 August, 2018
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