On January 25, a newspaper article shook the people of Okinawa. It revealed that the JGSDF and the U.S. Marine Corps secretly agreed in 2015 to station the JGSDF’s “Amphibious Rapid Deployment Brigade” at the new Henoko base. Officials of the Japanese and U.S. governments affirmed the news to the Okinawa Times and Kyodo News’s joint interview.
The JGSDF’s “Amphibious Rapid Deployment Brigade,” also known as “Japan’s version of the Marine Corps,” was established in March 2018 to protect the Senkaku Islands and other remote islands. The unit consists of about 3,000 soldiers.
The new Henoko base construction is proceeding under the pretext of “relocating” the most dangerous Futenma base. If Japan and the U.S. have agreed to station the Japan Self-Defense Forces at a U.S. military base, it is different from what the administration has been explaining. If both Japan and U.S. forces station in the same base, it will appear a joint force and present a significant risk to Okinawa.
Civic groups voiced their opposition immediately: “The situation is frightening.”, “It is a trick on the people of Okinawa.” and “This constitutes preparation for war!” Prime minister Suga denied such an agreement, but Okinawa’s people have experienced too many denials that turned affirmation. There should be absolutely no secret agreement
A signature campaign by religious people began to stop collecting earth and sand from the southern part of Okinawa Island.
“To use the earth and sand which contains the bones and ashes of the dead means killing them twice!” The religious leaders began a signature campaign to urge the government to stop using the earth and sand from Itoman and Yaese, the southern Okinawa, for the Henoko landfill. Many peace organizations and individuals have joined the campaign started by various religious leaders, including Buddhists and Christians. The appeal has been translated into English and sent overseas. NHK World broadcasted last year an interview with Mr. Takamatsu Gushiken, a volunteer who have collected the remains of the people killed in WW II. You can view it now in English and Chinese.
Click on the link below and “Endorse” to add your signature to the appeal. We welcome your support.
In response to the state of emergency declaration due to Covid 19, All Okinawa suspended its official protest rallies. But dozens of individuals continue to gather in front of the gate and Awa every day to protest.
The following is the schedule for the shipping of earth and sand from the Awa Pier
None on 23rd and 25th, 771 truckloads (comparable to 3 vessels) on 26th, and 1041 truckloads (comparable to 4 vessels) on 27th.
There will be no shipping after the 23rd from the Shiokawa Pier.
Number of dump trucks to date and percentage against the total
The estimation calculated on the basis of the number of ruckloads serves only as a reference.
Number of dump trucks which made delivery from December 2018 to the end of December 2020 302,705(3.746%)
|Number of dump trucks
|Weightt of earth/sand
|Converted to volume
|Volume per Total
|317,659||1,588,295 t||794,148㎥||3.931 %|
※ Cumulative since Dec. 1, 2019
※① Calculated by assuming that the average truckload per dump truck would be 5 tons
※② Calculated by assuming that a specific weight of soil/sand set to be 2
※③ Percentage against 20.200.000m3, the total volume of earth and sand required for the landfill.