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Takeshi Onaga's Last Stand

Why Onaga became a critic of GOJ

Akiko Yamamoto Part-time Lecturer of Okinawa International University

 

拡大Protesters held up signs saying “Henoko new base, NO!” in Naha, Aug. 11 2018

70,000 Rally in Mourning Governor Onaga

On 11th August, about 70,000 people gathered at a park in Naha, the prefectural capital of Okinawa, organized by “The All Okinawa Center to Stop the Planned Relocation of U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma” under pouring rain ahead of an approaching typhoon. Based on the SACO agreement between the U.S. and Japanese government in 1996, the Government of Japan has planned to move Futenma Air Station from a crowded neighborhood to a less populated coastal site within Okinawa.

Exposed to rain and the noise from right-wing sound trucks surrounding the park, the participants consisting of all ages observed a moment of silence for Okinawa’s governor, Takeshi Onaga, who died of cancer on 8th August. Most participants wore black ribbon around their arms to express their deep sorrow over Onaga’s death.

The son of Governor Onaga and a Naha city assembly member Takeharu Onaga criticized GOJ for ignoring the voice of opposition to the Futenma relocation by Okinawans and encouraged the participants to continue the battle against the planned relocation following in Governor Onaga’s footsteps. In addition, Deputy Governor Kiichiro Jahana pledged that he would follow through with the revocation process of a landfill permit instructed by the governor. The landfill permit was issued by Onaga’s predecessor for construction of the Futenma relocation facility under pressure from GOJ in the end of 2013, which made Mr. Onaga decide to run for the 2014 election of Okinawa Prefectural Governor to confront GOJ on the Futenma relocation.

Conservative Statesman Onaga

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筆者

Akiko Yamamoto

Akiko Yamamoto Part-time Lecturer of Okinawa International University

Dr. Akiko Yamamoto is a part-time lecturer of Okinawa International University and University of the Ryukyus. Her works of research are “The United States and the Revision of the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty: Okinawa, the U.S. Military Bases, and the Alliance (Yoshida Publishing Company, 2017),” “The Outsiders of the U.S. Presidents: the Mavericks Threaten the World (Asahi Library, 2017)” and so on.

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