We have a regrettable memory. In the mayoral election in Nago 2 years ago, we could not make Susumu Inamine to be elected. At that time, as the incumbent, he was running for the third time pledging to definitely oppose the construction of the new military base at Henoko.
He had an impressive record of achievement. He had refused to receive the subsidy from the central government to be paid as financial compensation if he would have agreed the construction. At the same time, he had successfully reconstructed the finances of the city. Still, he lost the election, which should not have ended in that way. We had been too confident with his great job. Now, Susumu-san stands with us in front of the gate of Awa. He comes on Thursday which is the day when usually not many people show up. Holding a banner, he quietly and slowly walks in front of dump trucks to interrupt their transport work. What is he thinking, I imagine? He may feel regret? He may blame himself thinking that he could achieve less than he had desired?
We lost Governor Onaga. By the election we lost the respectable mayor of the city where the construction of the base is going on. Even so, the people of Okinawa have never lost their determination. They elected Denny Tamaki as their new governor. Voices against the new base has been more widely spread across Japan. Probably before joining the protest this morning.
Susumu-san was on the street and made conversation with children going to school. Since the time of being Mayor he has kept doing this traffic safety instruction on the street every morning. His appeal that they “never allow any base to be built either on the land or at the sea” has been shared with anyone living in the city.
(In front of Camp Schwab Gate)
When women protesters talk, the sit-in scene at the Camp Schwab Gate is filled with their bright aura. Once or twice a week, women protesters talk to officers of the Defense Bureau and riot police trying to persuade them, sing songs and sometimes start dancing. A well-known analyst once said that if the majority of participants of your people’s movement are women, it would last.” That’s how our anti-base struggle in Okinawa is. For women, as a mother, to stop the construction of the new base should be a significant fight, which they cannot give up, to protect the lives of the future generation of their children and grandchildren. Today, they kept singing even during the eviction by riot police. Their bright spirit connected the participants, who were encouraged and empowered while resisting against the forced removal. 175 truckloads of construction materials were brought into the base.
(In front of Ryukyu Cement Awa Pier)
Approximately total 30 people kept protesting at the entrance and the exit of the pier. Our protest was especially focused against the drivers of dump trucks who made left turn to enter into the pier. Okinawa Defense Bureau should have pushed strong pressure on the trucking companies to speed up the delivery of earth and sand. Although we knew that these drivers had to follow the order, we had to keep protesting against them. The delivery was continued until nearly 8pm. This has become a routine these days. Annoyed by the significant delay of the construction, the central government is abusing any workers involved on the field, including dump truck drivers, riot police, officers of Okinawa Defense Bureau, and guards employed by private security companies. We are also being abused by them. The government should halt the construction opposed by the people and make a conversation with the Okinawa Prefecture. That is how the democracy should work. 14 canoes of the Canoe team “Henoko Blue” went out to protest at the sea. They successfully delayed the departure of a cargo ship for nearly one and half hour. The picture shows an officer of Japan Coast Guard trying to untie the rope from the chain. 884 truckloads of earth and sand were brought in. 404 truckloads were loaded to 3 cargo ships.
(Motobu Shiokawa Pier)
Approximately 60 people, including civilian guards, ODB and police officers faced against 5 nonviolent and peaceful protesters. We understand that they were deployed to avoid any obstruction from the transportation of earth and sand. But still the scene seems too absurd. Reportedly the security cost for the construction of the new base is 20 million yen per day. Protestors at the Motobu Shiokawa pier unanimously say “Stop using our tax money on this. The money should go to the budget for measures and relief for coronavirus, which have been desperately awaited by the people.” 404 truckloads of earth and sand were loaded to 3 cargo ships.
number of dump trucks to date and percentage against the total
The weight and the volume of earth/soil were estimated per experts’ advice
Number of dump trucks which made delivery from December 2018 to the end of December 2019 114,601(1.68%)
|Number of dump trucks
|Weightt of earth/sand
|Converted to volume
|Volume per Total