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OKINAWA UPDATE/ Feb. 20, 2017

OKINAWA UPDATE/ Feb. 20, 2017
What's going on in Okinawa...
#Henoko: Henoko Blue Blog in English launched.
#FreeOkinawaProtesters: Six “All Okinawa” lawmakers claimed immediate release of Yamashiro Hiroji.
#EnvironmentalJusticeOkinawa: A nomination of World Natural Heritage site side by side with the U.S. military training area frustrate the people.
#Takae: Get together to Takae! Support Takae! People continue hanging in at the sites.

- HenokoBlue Blog in English launched.
From the beginning of this year 2017, JP government has resumed the heavy-handed construction of U.S. military base in Henoko, Okinawa.
The canoe protester team "Henoko Blue" have launched an English blog to seek much more global attention to what is going on there. It is very tough to keep people informed in English translation (let alone in any other languages) in the midst of the actual struggle. Let's cheer them up by a global support and solidarity!

- Six “All Okinawa” lawmakers claimed immediate release of Yamashiro Hiroji.
Almost four months have past since the unjust arrest of the three protesters in Henoko and Takae.
Six members of both houses of Representatives and Councilors of the National Diet made a petition to claim the immediate release of Yamashiro Hiroji, the Chairperson of the Peace Action Center of Okinawa, and criticized the Japanese government that "it is a political suppression aiming at cracking down of the struggle in Henoko and Takae, and the non-violent resistance of Uchinaanchu (the people of Okinawa) pursuing peace and reclaiming their dignity".  (Japanese)

#Environmental Justice in Okinawa
- A nomination of World Natural Heritage site and a National Park plan proceeded by the JP government side by side with the heavy U.S. military training area and facilities frustrate the people.

Hideki Yoshikawa, Okinawa Environmental Justice Project, “U.S. military must not jeopardize Okinawan forest’s bid for World Heritage status” Japan Times, Feb. 1.

Okinawa Environmental Justice Project, “Okinawa: NGO Appeal to the United Nations and to US Military and Government over Base Matters, December 2015 and December 2016” Asia Pacific Journal Japan Focus, Dec. 15, 2016.

Jon Mitchell, "Environmental Contamination at USMC bases on Okinawa,” Asia-Pacific Journal Japan Focus, Volume 15 | Issue 4 | Number 2, February 15, 2017.
Also reprinted in Truthout on Sunday, February 19, 2017.

An important and active organization on this issue is the Informed-Public Project (IPP).
Global attention and warm support would be welcome!

- Get together to Takae! Support Takae! People continue hanging in at the sites.
JP-US governments and military complex held a “ceremony” for a portion of land return.
But don’t be mistaken!  The construction process has not finished yet, because they did a rush construction job to make it in time for the propagandistic handover before Ambassador Caroline Kennedy had left her position.

Here is a quote from the message of the No Helipad Takae Resident Society  (originally in Japanese)
There are some family unwillingly moved out of Takae to protect their children from the hazardous Osprey (there is a real fear of crash down, as well as a roar noise pollution and its terrible low frequency wave noise). Flora and fauna of Yanbaru forest have been threatened from now on.

 In Henoko, the construction of U.S. military base has resumed, as in the other islands of Ishigaki, Miyako, Yonaguni, stationing of the Japan Self Defense Forces has been proceeding.

Locations of the military bases always become the first target in war.
Neither military bases nor nuclear power plants we can live side by side with.

We will never accept such a policy as to inflict sacrifices and dangerousness to where no one can see and to manipulate the truth.

To rescue our protesters under unjust arrest of suppression by the Government,
To reclaim Yanbaru forest, as our forest of vitality, our water reservoir as it was, to remove dangerous military bases,
To reward truly peaceful and secure days to our next generation,
We will hang in there sitting-in to protest and monitor.

We are waiting for your continuous support and cooperation.