On the 6th of January, the two big stars gave a charity concert in Naha to encourage the Okinawan residents who have been longing for peace. Ms. Yoshinaga Sayuri has given many recitals to read poems about the atomic bombings, and Mr. Sakamoto Ryūichi is a musician with international fame. In the 75th year after the WWII in Okinawa where destruction by the war was the severest, they performed together to appeal for peace with music and poems.
Before the concert, Mr. Sakamoto boarded on a glass-bottom boat to see the colonies of the blue corals and porites (a genus of stony corals) in Oura Bay. He remarked: “What is the purpose of building a new military base by destroying this beautiful nature? No purpose at all, I think, so do many other people, I believe.”
Pointing out the fact that only 1% of the total amount of the earth and sand required to complete the landfill has been applied although 3 years have already gone by since the start of the construction work, Mr. Sakamoto criticized that “although it is always possible to stop and start anew, this country does not have the courage to stop the gear once it starts rotating.”
Ms. Yoshinaga Sayuri said in response to a news reporter’s question on the new base that, “it is not a problem that one can just pretend not to be aware of. If the new base is needed in Japan, the mainland has to take a fair share of the burden that Okinawans have been carrying. If the mainland does not, neither should Okinawans.”
The politicians representing the mainland and Japanese citizens should listen earnestly to them? The concert earnings were donated to the Henoko Fund.
(In front of Camp Schwab Gate)
After the new-year holidays, the construction of the new military base resumed. From 8:30am, 35 people participated in the sit-in protest. Mr. Y from Canada laid himself on the ground in an effort to make it difficult for the riot police men to remove him. A 90-year old Ms. Shimabukuro Fumiko also participated in wheelchair. Because it was the first day of work in 2020, there were many empty dump trucks for the works inside the base. Over the course of three days, 40 trucks entered the gate.
(On the sea at Oura Bay)
We started this years’ protest with 1 vessel and 8 canoes. The canoe members tried to approach K8 seawall to stop the cargo ships that have anchored off-shore since the end of the last year to berth, but were captured and brought back to the beach. They continued protesting with determination at the construction site.
(In front of the Ryukyu Cement Pier in Awa)
Several people protested the entire day against the deliveries of landfill soil. Five members of “GoGo Drive” joined the rally and hindered the deliveries by driving up and down the public road. It was 24 degrees centigrade and nice and warm, which one would not expect it to be January. But it became uncomfortable due to the truck exhaust gas. 428 deliveries were made. 3 cargo ships left the bay.
(At the Shiokawa Pier in Motobu Town)
Members of Shimagurumi of Uruma City were present from 7.30am to prevent the trucks from entering the pier. Another group was doing the same at the pier in Awa. The riot police arrived so late that the majority of the trucks turned back without making deliveries. Finally at around 12:30pm, the riot police force arrived and removed the protesters. The delivering and loading activities continued past 5:30pm. 158 truckloads which is equivalent to the load of one cargo ship were delivered.