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Hundreds protest US base construction in Japan, year after woman killed by US marine

Hundreds of people took to the streets of Tokyo to pay tribute to the memory of a young Japanese woman killed by a US marine a year ago and to protest the relocation of the US base in Okinawa. A separate rally was held in Okinawa prefecture.

The demonstrators in Tokyo marched through the streets holding banners including ones reading, “No base in Okinawa!” The father of the murdered woman also issued a message calling for the removal of the US military bases from the island prefecture, local media report.

“Those incidents occur because Okinawa hosts US military bases. I want the bases to be removed without further delay, which is the wish of many Okinawa residents as well,” the man said in his statement.

“I have nothing to say to the defendant. We, the bereaved family, can never forgive him. We tolerate or trust no excuses from him,” he added. At the same time, he expressed his gratitude to all those people who expressed their support and sympathy to his family.

“Our sorrow for losing our daughter will never disappear, but our hearts will always be with her and we will continue to pray for the repose of her soul,” he said.

On April 28, 2016, the 20-year-old woman, Rina Shimabukuro, was raped and murdered by a 32-year-old civil contractor and former US Marine Kenneth Franklin Gadson, who goes by his Japanese wife’s family name of Shinzato. He admitted that he had strangled and stabbed his victim.

The incident provoked a wave of outrage in Japan. In June 2016, at least 50,000 people protested against heavy US military presence in Okinawa following the murder. Okinawa Governor Takeshi Onaga and some officials from opposition parties also took part in the rally at the time.

Facing public outcry, the US military has introduced curfews, movement restrictions and an alcohol ban off base, lifted 11 days after it was imposed.

In the meantime, another rally was held in the Henoko district of the city of Nago located in the Okinawa prefecture. Some 3,000 people took part in that demonstration, according to the local media.

The protesters, who came to express their discontent with the relocation of the US Futenma air base to the Henoko district, also began their rally with a minute of silence in the memory of the murdered woman.

The protesters gathered in front of Camp Schwab, the US military base located in Henoko. The demonstration was attended by the Nago city mayor.

In the meantime, the construction of the new US military base in Henoko took another step forward despite strong opposition from local residents. On April 25, cranes started dropping nets containing crushed rock along the shore north of Camp Schwab.

The rocks will likely serve as the foundation of a seawall built along the outer perimeter of the planned runway site, according to The Asahi Shimbun newspaper. Full-fledged landfill work inside the sea walls is set to take place in the first half of next year.

Katsuhiro Yoshida, a senior Okinawa prefectural official, who particularly deals with issues concerning the US bases in the area, said that the move “ignored the local will” and is “authoritarian,” adding that the local residents simply cannot accept it.

Okinawa hosts about 75 percent of all US military installations in Japan, and is an important geopolitical outpost for Washington allowing to project power in the region that neighbors China and Southeast Asia.

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People in Okinawa continue their fight

Despite intense crackdowns, activists on the Japanese island of Okinawa continue to resist the construction of new US Military Bases. They come in kayaks and canoes to protect the bay, maintain a tent city on the beach, and hold candlelight vigils. From posters to marches, songs, and a petition expressing international solidarity, Okinawan residents have left no question about their fierce opposition to construction of a new military base for the U.S. Marines on their island.

Overriding these emphatic voices, the Japanese and United States governments have begun work on a new facility at site of Henoko—initiating offshore drilling, tearing down buildings, and bringing in construction supplies. The building of this base has broad ramifications: it will destroy local marine life, pollute natural resources, and put residents in danger. Even more disturbingly, it reflects the long-term violation of Okinawans’ democratic rights—namely, their ability to set the policies that affect their lives.

Nonetheless, despite intense crackdowns to suppress resistance, Okinawan activists remain determined to continue their opposition to this base. One of them is “Henoko Blue” civilian canoe team which has aim to protect beautiful Sea of Oura Bay, Henoko, Okinawa from the plans to build a new U.S. military base there.

On the 18th of February, two big crane ships continued boring concrete blocks into the sea. Members of “Henoko Blue” canoe team have tried to show them their relation to this by means of banners and posters.

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Japanese Coast Guard defending base construction

“Henoko Blue” members also tried to set up a banner on floating fence.

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A banner put by ‘Henoko Blue’

So this is how local civilians try to bring their words and feelings to the world. They can do it only by means of peaceful protests. All the surrounding nature they had grown up with is being destroyed for military purposes. Will the world answer their call?

Japan ignores protests, begins offshore construction work on moving US base in Okinawa

Despite strong local opposition, the Japanese authorities began offshore construction work aimed at relocating a US Marine Corps base on the island of Okinawa.

The US Marine Corps’ Air Station Futenma is being moved from densely populated Ginowan to a less populated location in eastern Okinawa – the Henoko coastal area of Nago. Last week, US Defense Secretary James Mattis and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe held talks in Tokyo and agreed to go ahead with the plan.

The offshore construction work, which started on the 6th of February, will see over 200 concrete blocks dumped in the sea to create a screen, preventing debris and sediment generated from coastal revetment work from damaging the environment.

Tokyo will also make sure that an undersea survey in the area is carried out, using the same vessels which earlier delivered the blocks to the site, Kyodo news agency reported.

“Based on relevant law, the government will pay as much consideration as possible to the natural environment and the livelihoods of local people as we move forward with work to relocate (the base to) Henoko,” Yoshide Suga, Japanese chief cabinet secretary, said.

Around 100 people gathered outside Camp Schwab, another US base near the construction site, to protest the relocation again on Monday.

The demonstrators held banners reading “No to new Henoko base” and “Independence from colonialism,” AP reported.

Many residents, including Okinawa Governor Takeshi Onaga, object to the heavy US military presence on the island, saying that the Futenma base should be removed, not just relocated.

They cite jet crashes related to the US bases and sexual assaults linked to US military personnel as major reasons for concern.

Large-scale protests against the US bases, which gather thousands of people, are staged regularly on the island.

Onaga is now expected to refuse the renewal of a permit for moving coral reefs in the construction area, which expires in March, in order to stall the Futenma base relocation, Kyodo said.

The Okinawa governor visited Washington last week, reiterating his strong stance against the US bases on the island.

“US military bases occupy 6 percent of the whole of Japan and 70 percent of those US military bases are in places where the population density is about the same as Tokyo. I don’t like it anymore…,” Onaga said.

The Futenma base relocation began in October 2015, but was suspended due to resistance from the Okinawa authorities and population.

The work was resumed by the government on December 27 after the Supreme Court rejected an injunction order earlier issued by the Okinawa governor.

“This is a country ruled by law, and we feel that both the state and Okinawa Prefecture will cooperate and act sincerely in continuing with the reclamation work, in line with the Supreme Court ruling,” Cabinet Secretary Suga said.

Tokyo believes that the relocation of the base is “the only solution” to move it away from the densely populated area, while not undermining the Japan-US security alliance.

Okinawa protesters oppose US military base on land and at sea.

Activists opposing the relocation of the US Marine Corps Air Station Futenma to a location in Nago, Okinawa Prefecture, paddled out into the coastal waters to disrupt preparations for its construction on the 1st of February.

The ‘democratic’ nation

These videos show us who american military forces and servants of their government really are. They are the servants of evil forces who’s only purpose is to bring pain and suffer, to take all that their lands give, kill everybody and go to another place just like virus or desease.

Okinawans Protest U.S. Military Presence

Thousands of people protested in Okinawa against the heavy U.S. military presence there. Many mourned the rape and killing of a local woman. An American contractor was arrested on suspicion of abandoning her body; He hasn’t been charged.

Thousands of Okinawa Residents Gather for Anti-U.S. Military Protest

Tens of thousands of residents of Okinawa took to the streets in protest on June 19, rallying against the presence of U.S. military bases on the Japanese island

Hello reader!

My name is Kentaro Takaoka. I was born in Japan in 1988 and when I was 8 my family moved to London. We moved because my parents couldn’t handle it anymore…Handle the slavish status of Japanese people after WWII. I know that my nation did bad thing during that time, but we are already third generation after those people and we don’t deserve it…We don’t deserve that our children are raped and killed. Yes, you know it…You all know it but remain silent. After WWII Japan has been occupied by US military forces. These forces do everything they want on our territory and no law can stop them. And our government remains silent too. But I won’t…So this is what my site about.

The terrible and horrifyingly shocking things US militaries have done to Japanese people…

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Cruelest cases

Since 1972 US military personnel have committed over 5,800 crimes on Japan’s Okinawa Islands. Here are the most famous of them:

1995: the gang rape of 12-year old, sixth-grade Japanese school girl by a sailor and two Marines stationed at Camp Hansen.

2006: the robbing and beating to death of 56-year old woman by a Yokosuka Naval Base sailor.

2008: tha stabbing death of a taxi driver by a Yokosuka NB sailor.

2008: the death of 17-year old Kadena Air Base Kubasaki H.S. student resulting from DUI 20-year old USFJ dependent.

2009: the hit-and-run death of 66-year old in Okinawa.

2011: the vehicular manslaughter of a 19-year old Okinawan male by 24-year US Army employee.

2012: the rape and robbery of 20-year old Okinawan girl by a US sailor.

2016: US Marine Kenneth Franklin Shinzato was arrested in Okinawa for stabbing and strangling a 20-year-old Japanese woman near US Kadena Air Base. Rina Shimabukuro disappeared on April 28 and was later found dead in a forest. Franklin has reportedly admitted to raping her and committing the murder.

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