Press Releases
Jan 22, 2015 - Press Release: Citizens to surround Diet in protest against Henoko Base Construction
On January 25 (Sunday), citizens will encircle the National Diet Building in Tokyo in protest against the construction of a new military base in Henoko, Okinawa.

Please see below for more details and contact Nohira Shinsaku of the 1.25 National Diet Human Chain Committee at 090-6015-6820 for further information.

Download this release as a PDF here.

Date: January 25, 2015
Time: 14:00-15:30 (Speeches from 14:00, Surrounding Diet Building from 15:00)
Location: Tokyo National Diet Building (Closest stations to main entrance: Kokkaigijidomae, Nagatacho and Kasumigaseki)
Organizers: 1.25 National Diet Human Chain Committee

Background Information:

January 2015 marks two years since a delegation representing all of the 41 elected leaders of municipalities in Okinawa traveled to Tokyo to express their dissent and to directly hand a petition to Prime Minister Abe Shinzo. The petition had two demands:
1) Immediately halt the deployment of US military Osprey aircraft in Okinawa (Given that this type of aircraft has major safety issues and poses further threats to Okinawa)
2) Close Futenma Air Base in Okinawa, and scrap the plan to relocate it within Okinawa Prefecture. This U.S. military base, which is located in the heart of a densely populated city in Okinawa, poses a great danger to local residents, and constructing a new military installation in another region of Okinawa in order to ?grelocate?h Futenma will cause grave damage to Okinawa's biodiversity and exacerbate the disproportionate burden on Okinawa of U.S. military bases.

Public opinion in Okinawa strongly supports these two demands, and in November of 2014, Governor Onaga was democratically elected on a platform that opposed the relocation of Futenma to Henoko. In fact, all four candidates elected in Okinawa in the general election of December 2015 oppose further military base construction in Okinawa. Yet despite this resounding Okinawan opposition, Prime Minister Abe Shinzo has declared that he will adhere to the construction plan in Henoko.

Although Okinawa makes up only 0.6 percent of Japan's total area, 74 percent of all US military bases are concentrated there. By closing Futenma only on the condition that the pristine nature of Henoko be destroyed in order to create a replacement base, the negative impact of bases in Okinawa would only increase. The election results clearly show that the people of Okinawa are opposed to this, and shows that their democracy is clearly functioning. What is under question, is whether human rights and democracy is functioning in mainland Japan. The current administration is clearly ignoring Okinawan public opinion, and in Tokyo we aim to make clear our opposition to the plan to new base construction at Henoko.

January 25, 2015 marks the last day of the Diet recess. A coalition of more than 50 civil society groups will organize a "human chain" around the National Diet Building to have the voices from Okinawa and the public heard in the Diet discussion and debates that will resume the following day.
We invite members of the press to attend this important action on behalf of democracy, human rights and environmental protection in Japan.

Further Inquiries:
Peace Boat, Tel: 03-3363-7561 / Mobile: Nohira Shinsaku, 090-6015-6820

Download this release as a PDF here.