May 15th marks the 39th anniversary of the “return” of Okinawa to Japan, yet 30 U.S. military bases remain throughout the Okinawa archipelago. Moreover, Tokyo and Washington have not abandoned their plan to destroy Oura Bay, habitat of the federally protected and critically endangered Okinawa dugong, to build a new “Futenma replacement” base, despite prefectural government disapproval at all levels.
This morning at Nago City, Henoko Bay, 150 people, in protest, attached 100 banners to a fence surrounding land U.S. Marines have earmarked for their proposed base.
In Ginowan City, the location of U.S. Marine Futenma Air Station, engaged in their 34th annual Peace Walk, forming a circular human chain around Futenma Air Field.
People across Japan are supporing their fellow citizens in Okinawa by holding solidarity demonstrations. Their message: Close U.S. Marine Air Station Futenma, cancel the plan to destroy Oura Bay to build a new base, and terminate plans to construct helipads in biodiverse Yanbaru Forest for the U.S. military V-22 Osprey aircraft, which have already taken the lives of 30 people in the U.S. and 4 in Afghanistan.