Governor Onaga from Okinawa will be visiting O`ahu from next Wednesday-Friday, 27-29th, then leaving to Washington DC to take the Okinawa people’s voice to Congress and Department of Defense concerning the Henoko mega base construction.
This past Sunday, over 35,000 packed the Cellular Stadium in Naha with standing room only rally to support Onaga and again show Okinawa’s stance against the forced building of the base in Henoko. It has been 70 years of continued war, and Okinawa has been sacrificed time and time again by the Japanese government. With only less than 1% of the total land mass of Japan, Okinawa hosts 80% of the US bases, which take up more than 20% of prime property. The property for the bases were NOT given to the US, but was stolen by force and violence by the US military during the American Occupation. The US military used bulldozers and bayonets and came like the thief in the night during early morning hours while the residents were asleep, turned their lights on and forced the Okinawa farmers off their lands. Okinawans resisted, and some lost their lives or were beaten, so the resistance ended because Okinawans did not want anymore added to the death toll from the war.
Onaga has called an emergency in Okinawa. This has become more of a base issue, but one of human rights which have been violated by both the American and Japanese governments. It will affect and destroy pristine and endangered coral reefs, sealife, and sacred sites. Cultural sites will also be affected as some of the most popular areas that are talked about in chants, songs and dances will be destroyed to make room for this mega base.
Okinawa Governor Onaga is asking to meet with as many Hawaii Uchinaanchu and supporters as possible on Thursday, May 28th at 7pm at the Hawai`i Okinawa Center.
Please make time to attend this important event to support Governor Onaga and our Okinawa people. Let us educate our community and ourselves about Okinawa.
All around the world, indigenous peoples are fighting to save what they can from destruction of their sacred and cultural sights. In Hawai`i, we are experiencing the same and in Okinawa….our birthplace of our ancestors and blood connection, our Uchinaanchu brothers and sisters have been fighting hard for the past 70 years.
Our last event with the Okinawa government officials at UH was packed and standing room only. It would be great to have HOC packed for this event to show Governor Onaga and Okinawa our support. Please let your families and friends know!
The fact is that 20% of the island of Okinawa is already being used by the US military. The question is, how much more land must the US military take for their purposes from the 80% that’s left for the Okinawans. What the Okinawans are saying is and expressing in their protests, “Enough already. If the Americans want to build another base, build it elsewhere… in mainland Japan, in Guam. Don’t keep taking precious land away from the Okinawans.”
See Chiyomi Sumida’s “Thousands Rally in Okinawa to Stop New Camp Schwab Runway” (Stars and Stripes, 17 May 2015). (WebCite alternative)