Mikiko Onaga, wife of former governor Takeshi Onaga, criticizing the soil dumping as “contempt toward public opinion” and saying “the very nature of the country of Japan is being called into question” around 11:17 a.m. on December 14 in front of gate 1 of Camp Schwab in Henoko, Nago City
December 15, 2018 Ryukyu Shimpo
“What can be said about a country that is able to show such contempt toward public opinion? The very nature of the country of Japan is being called into question.”
On December 14, Mikiko Onaga, 63, wife of former governor Takeshi Onaga, who passed away in August, visited the gate to Camp Schwab in Henoko, Nago City and expressed indignation at the government barging forward with dumping soil for land reclamation.
Onaga says she hesitated to make the trip to Henoko at a time when Governor Denny Tamaki is working to prevent the base construction.
“I feel bad about bringing the Onaga name to the fore when Denny is working so hard,” she said, and admitted that she had not intended to make the trip until the last minute.
Yet she read a letter from a reader in the newspaper calling on people to participate in the protest for the sake of future children and, after much vacillation, she decided to go.
“If I didn’t come today, I would have regretted it for the rest of my life,” she said.
As an Okinawan, she says she feels strong anger toward the government and, at the same time, questions the indifference mainland Japanese seem to have toward Okinawa’s base issues.
“Just as my husband intended to be a father to all Okinawans, the government must be a parent to all Japanese citizens. How can they slight us so?”
she questioned angrily, and responded to a reporter’s question with a question of her own–“Don’t you think there’s something wrong with the way popular will is ignored in Okinawa alone?”
“I think my husband is here with us today.
He always said, ‘The final battlefield to stop [the base construction] is the front lines of the protest site.’ The people’s spirit cannot be broken. Okinawans have the strength to rise back up again even when we are down,” she stated resolutely.
(English translation by T&CT and Sandi Aritza)