Shii, Onaga release statements on Japan-US summit meeting
April 30, 2015
Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo on April 29 issued a statement regarding the summit meeting held on the previous day between Japan’s Prime Minister Abe Shinzo and U.S. President Barack Obama at the White House. Okinawa Governor Onaga Takeshi also issued a statement in regard to the meeting.
In his statement, Shii condemned PM Abe for promising to the U.S. leader that he will further promote his runaway policies in defiance of public opposition, including strengthening the Japan-U.S. military alliance which allows facilitation of the PM’s move to create a war-fighting nation, pushing forward with the planned construction of a new U.S. base in Okinawa’s Henoko, and working together with the U.S. to reach an early conclusion to the ongoing negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade pact.
Shii pointed out that the two leaders’ joint statement stresses that the new Japan-U.S. Defense Cooperation Guidelines will greatly “transform” the alliance and will “enable Japan to increase its military contribution to both regional and global security.”
Shii said that the new guidelines include a joint war plan in which Japan’s Self-Defense Forces will participate in U.S.-led wars, such as the war of aggression against Iraq and the retaliatory war against Afghanistan, and engage in combat missions. Such a plan tramples on Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution, he added.
The JCP chair said that making a pledge to the United States to change Japan into a nation fighting wars abroad without Diet discussions clearly puts on display the Abe administration’s stance to prioritize U.S. interests over Japan’s independence and sovereignty.
Noting that PM Abe expressed his intention to go ahead with the base construction project in Henoko in defiance of Okinawa Governor Onaga’s opposition, Shii said, “In the 2014 elections for Nago City mayor and Okinawa governor as well as in the general election, voters, regardless of their political affiliation, voted against the Heono base plan. This represents Okinawan public consensus. It is unforgivable for the prime minister to totally disregard this consensus and impose the new base on Okinawa.”
Regarding the TPP talks, Shii cited the fact that while U.S. lawmakers have access to information regarding the ongoing negotiations, the Japanese government refuses to make public any information. He demanded that the government not conclude the negotiations while keeping information on the negotiations secret.
Okinawa Governor Onaga Takeshi on April 29 held a press conference at the prefectural government building and said that he is disappointed that the leaders of Japan and the United States at their summit meeting expressed their intention to go forward with the plan to construct a new U.S. base in Nago’s Henoko district in the prefecture.
The governor also noted that a joint statement issued after the Japan-U.S. “two-plus-two” security meeting on April 27 reaffirms that the construction of the base in the Henoko district is the only solution to the problems associated with the U.S. Futenma Air Station in Ginowan City. He added that he was upset and angered by that arrogant statement.
Onaga said that he plans to visit Washington as early as the end of May to convey to U.S. government officials Okinawans’ strong opposition to the planned U.S. base in Henoko.