August 19, 2014
In defiance of strong opposition by Okinawans, Japan's Defense Ministry's Okinawa Defense Bureau launched on August 18 a drilling survey to build a new U.S. military base in the Henoko coastal area of Nago City.
That day, Japanese Communist Party Secretariat Head Yamashita Yoshiki held a news conference in the Diet building, criticizing Prime Minister Abe Shinzo's government for infringing upon democracy.
Yamashita pointed out that the Abe administration is trying to forcibly start the work in order to prevent the base construction issue from becoming a major issue in the Okinawa gubernatorial election to be held in November.
Yamashita referred to the fact that Okinawans' heroic struggles led to the return of Okinawa to Japan in 1972, which had been under the U.S. military occupation since the end of World War II. "The government's act will only further fuel local residents' anger," he stressed.
The JCP spokesperson noted that it is important for Okinawans as well as all Japanese to combine their efforts to foil the administration's attempt.