Let us embrace the pain of the people in Okinawa as our own!

Urgent Protest Advertising Action

We are calling for the immediate unconditional closure of the U.S. Marine Futenma Airbase and the cancellation of the Henoko Plan (the plan to build an alternative Marine airbase and military port in Henoko).
We do not want the U.S. Marine Corps in Japan.

Our Idea
= The Prospectus for the Okinawa Urgent Protest Advertising Action =

We are introducing ‘ The Urgent Okinawa Protest Advertising Action’, which is motivated by a sense of crisis from observing the movements taken by the present Japanese administration on the U.S. Futenma airbase issue.

The consentient demands from all of the Okinawan people for the closure and return of the Futenma base, the cancellation of the new Henoko base plan, and the refusal of the relocation of the U.S. base within Okinawa were clearly stated by a number of political actions in Japan. The actions include the result of the Lower House election in 2009, Nago-city mayoral election in 2010, the unanimous resolution of the Okinawa prefectural assembly for ‘ the U.S. base relocation outside Japan, not only outside Okinawa’, the united agreement of all 41 mayors throughout Okinawa and the prefectural governor, and the resolution of the Nago city assembly on March 8th, 2010 for the objection of the Camp Schwab land plan.

The regime change from the old coalition government of LDP and the New Komeito was apparently the choice by all of the Japanese people. We had great hope for the new government. The new Prime Minister Hatoyama at the time clearly stated that he would pursue the goal of the U.S. base relocation outside of Okinawa, and even outside of Japan. It seemed that he was opening the door to fulfill the deep hopes and wishes of all the Okinawan people.
However, that government itself created the Henoko Camp Schwab heliport plan, which stated that the U.S. Marine Corps should be provided with new alternative facilities in Henoko. Just like the former Hatoyama administration, the successor, the present Kan administration seems to have shifted the direction from their original pledges and is about to go against the Okinawan people’s wishes. The crisis among us is now skyrocketing and the U.S.-Japan agreement might end up with the relocation of the U.S. base within Okinawa. This would only continue the problem of passing around the U.S. bases inside the Okinawa prefecture with no solution, and that would be a disaster.

It is par for the course that the national plan should be changed when the people choose a new political leader. Nevertheless, the U.S. government repeatedly puts unreasonable pressure on this new DPJ administration to implement the old U.S.-Japan agreement with the former Japanese government of the LDP administration. The U.S. argues that the return of Futenma is impossible unless the relocation to Henoko is fulfilled. It seems that the U.S. government still thinks it occupies the nation of Japan. An attitude like this is in fact out of order from the viewpoint of universal common-sense.
Human rights should be equal to all Americans, Okinawans and other Japanese without any discrimination. This is a crucial point in the Declaration of Human Rights, the Constitution of the U.S. and that of Japan. Considering this human birthright, why have only the Okinawans long been failing in having the right to live in peace? Is it fair to keep shoving all these fears, dreads and burdens created by the U.S. military bases down the Okinawans’ throats?
This problem in Okinawa should be shared by all citizens in the world. We want to empathize with all of the historical adversities of Okinawa and hope to cooperate together to solve the situation.
We have already taken the first step forward for the closure and return of the Futenma Airbase. Let us not allow any authorities or political power to block our progress. Now is the time to bring this issue to the attention of the international community.

  1. 1. We call for the immediate unconditional closure of the U.S. Marine Futenma Airbase and the return of the land to Japan. We also oppose the relocation of the alternative U.S. military base inside Okinawa.

The U.S. Marine Futenma Airbase is even acknowledged by the U.S. government as the most dangerous U.S. military base in the world. It is located in the middle of a densely populated residential area. It was originally constructed in June, 1945, when the war was still going on, in order to attack the mainland of Japan. But even after Japan surrendered, the U.S. Marines still expanded this airbase, depriving locals of their rice farms, crop fields and school sites, and instead gave them the daily roars of jet fighters and the fear of death.
It is quite unreasonable for the robber to demand ‘ an alternative ‘ when he returns the things that he has stolen.
We claim that the present Japanese administration should negotiate with the U.S. government for the immediate unconditional closure of the U.S. Marine Futenma Airbase and the return of the land to Japan, instead of looking for an alternative relocation site.

  1. 2. We call for the cancellation of the new Henoko U.S. base plan ( the sea, the land )

There are several reasons why all the people in Okinawa strongly oppose this plan to construct a new base in Henoko and this should clearly be understood by the governments of the U.S., Japan, and all the citizens of both countries;
Firstly, this old U.S.-Japan agreement for which the former Japanese administration is responsible, is the plan to reclaim the Henoko bay by using sand that would amount to 5,250,000 ten-ton trucks. This sea is widely recognized as an ecologically precious treasure trove with rich coral reefs and Dugongs which are in danger of extinction.
Secondly, the new ‘Camp Schwab land plan’ will transfer the current existing problems in Futenma to this Henoko area. Moreover, if this plan is implemented, it will not only completely destroy the preserved nature of Nago city, but it will also change the Henoko bay, the sea of rich biodiversity into ‘ the sea of death’ by the huge outflow of red clay caused by the construction work of the new base. This will destroy the life of the local people, making all the plants and animals disappear.
This kind of wide-scale development which causes sea pollution and destruction of the natural ecology is strictly banned in the United States. Why then, does the U.S. government force another country to undergo this disaster, when it does not allow this in their own land?

Thirdly, there are also some hidden blueprints behind this Henoko plan that were drawn up by the U.S. government. These are plots to construct a military harbor, an ammunition depot, and to deploy the ospreys around this area. These American politicians are dreaming about the new massive military base with state-of-the-art facilities, financed singularly by Japan. They are willing to scrape the land of Japan and destroy the sea of Japan in order to realize this dream.
Here we clearly demand that the present Japanese administration negotiate with the U.S. government to scrap this new Henoko U.S. base plan which is clearly impossible to carry out.

  1. 3. Departure from the U.S.-Japan Mutual Security Treaty
    Let us all create peace without relying on the military power
    The first step is to question and re-examine the significance of the U.S. Marine Corps in Japan and the U.S.-Japan Mutual Security Treaty

The former Hatoyama administration clearly promised in its campaign pledge to forge an intimate but equal relationship with the United States. The past bilateral relationship has been quite an unequal one, with Japan continually obeying the U.S., militarily and economically. This situation was anchored by the U.S.-Japan Mutual Security Treaty, which was made in order to respond to the Cold War, that ended a long time ago. Okinawa has been a scapegoat for this unstable security alliance even after its reversion to Japan. Thus, the U.S.-Japan Mutual Security Treaty is the base substructure of the unequal bilateral relation and discrimination to Okinawa.
Moreover, the treaty conflicts with equal human rights and the right to live in peace, which are guaranteed in the preamble and Chapter 9 of the Japanese Constitution.
Let us examine something here. Are the Marine Corps who are trained to kill and invade other countries necessary in order to live safely and in peace? No, they are not. Do we really need the U.S. army bases in Japan? No, we do not.
It has been more than 50 years since the last revision of this treaty. The world situation has widely changed since the time of the Cold War and is seeking true fundamental solidarity. Here we want to step forward to the reduction and closure of all the U.S. military bases throughout Japan, not only Futenma.
We urge the U.S. and Japanese governments to drastically rethink about all the conventional bilateral agreements including the Status-of-Forces Agreement , and to start the dialogue for a new peace treaty which has the clear vision of ‘peace without arms’.

Seventy-five percent of U.S. troops in Japan are stationed in Okinawa, whose area is 0.7 percent of the whole of Japan. And the suffering of the locals in all other regions who host U.S. bases in Japan, such as Iwakuni, Atsugi, Sasebo, Yokosuka, and many more is no less than that of Okinawa. The final solution is not the relocation of a base within Japan, but the return of all the U.S. troops back to the U.S.
Let us nurture the war without armaments that emerged from Okinawa, and unite into a universal circle of citizens who clearly state and believe that we do not need any army bases in this whole world.
Now is the moment to re-examine the old conventions of the existence of army bases and the treaties which support them such as the U.S.-Japan Mutual Security Treaty. This is the threshold into true human peace, in which we all share our sufferings and delights. As a first step, let all of us share and be aware of the suffering that the Okinawan people have been enduring for so many years.

These are our ideas as to why we are issuing the Urgent Protest Advertising Action.
Let us embrace the pain of the people in Okinawa as our own, and clearly state our will with this advertisement. Let us unite to work together. At this moment in time, we must stand up.

The Okinawa Urgent Protest Advertising Action

- Our action in 2011 -

We advertised a full-page protest in Okinawa local newspapers on May 14th, the day before the Okinawa Prefecture People’s Conference. We put the same full-page advertisement in a Japanese national newspaper on May 15th, the actual day of the Conference. These are our actions to state our will to share the sufferings of the Okinawan people.


Hiroshi Ashitomi, Co-leader, Committee Against Nago helicopter base

Seishin Uehara, Council of Okinawa Land Owners Against War

Ken Ogata, Professor Emeritus, Hosei University

Kazuoki Ohno, Secretary General, Committee for De-WTO/FTA
 Grass-Roots Campaign CEO, Daily Berita

Kenichi Take, Chief, Branch of the fresh-concrete workers,
 National Construction Workers Union Chief,
 Research Institute of Unions of SMEs

Tokushin Yamauchi, Member of the House of Councilors

Yoshihiko Motoyama, Professor Emeritus, Kyoto University
 Co-founder, Institute of Associe For Change

This is the prospectus to state our original idea. It is not opinion advertisement. We will publish the concise opinion advertisement based on this prospectus when it is ready.