Hunger Strike to Stop Landfill Off Henoko
Takamatsu Gushiken, head of "Gamafuyaa (Cave Diggers)"
Tsuyoshi Kitaueda, Citizen's network for peace in Okinawa
*Speakers will join the event online.
11:00-12:00 Thursday, March 4, 2021
(The speech and Q & A will be in Japanese with English interpretation)
On March 1, a group of people on Okinawa's main island began a hunger strike to protest the use of a landfill in Oura Bay using soil containing the remains of the dead from World War II. The government's construction plan for a US airbase in the bay calls for procuring most of the soil - about 20 million cubic meters - from the Itoman and Yaese areas, which were the sites of "uncountable deaths" from the ground battle between American and Japanese troops to retake the main island in 1945.
The row adds to the difficulties of building the base, which is mired in multiple controversies. The project, off the fishing village of Henoko, has been strongly opposed by local residents for two decades. Opponents say the government covered up problems with the soft seabed off Henoko, which will increase costs and further delay completion. Kamatsu Gushiken, who leads a group that has spent decades excavating the bones of one of the war's most infamous battles, says the landfill plan "desecrates the dead and is a disgrace to humanity." Local pastors, fathers, priests, and civic organizations support the hunger strike, which will last till March 6th
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