Shii criticizes Hatoyama for ignoring Okinawans' demands

The Japanese and U.S. governments on May 28 issued a joint statement to relocate the U.S. Marine Corps Futenma Air Station in Okinawa Prefecture to "the Camp Schwab Henoko-saki area and adjacent waters." This has provoked a renewed anger of the people in Okinawa and the rest of Japan.

Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo criticized the Hatoyama government decision as betraying the promise to move the Futenma base "outside the prefecture or even outside the country" and disregarding the Okinawans' determination to oppose the relocation within the prefecture.

He said, "An enforcement of this policy will add fuel to the Okinawan's anger, strengthen their unity, and ultimately result in failure. The JCP demands that the policy should be withdrawn."

The joint statement also intends to relocate U.S. military training exercises in Okinawa to Tokunoshima Island in Kagoshima Prefecture and other places on the mainland of Japan. "This, however, will not reduce the Okinawans' burden and will diffuse the damage from U.S. military bases nationwide," Shii pointed out.

The Japanese and U.S. governments in 2006 agreed on the relocation of training exercises at Kadena Air Base to other places of Japan. However, this has brought about increasing noise pollution and other kinds of danger in Kadena Town and other neighboring municipalities because the number of U.S. aircraft flying in from various places throughout the world is increasing.

This newly added provision, the relocation of the training to Tokunoshima Island and other places in Japan, is worse than the original plan, the so-called 2006 "Roadmap" which the former LDP-Komei government agreed on with the U.S.

Shii stressed that underlying this betrayal by the Hatoyama administration is the false claim that the Marine Corps in Japan act as a deterrence force.

Shii reiterated that it has become clearer than ever that unconditional removal is the only solution to the Futenma base issue.

- Akahata, May 29, 2010

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