Anti-Osprey Demonstration set for Sunday

Okinawans opposed to deployment of the MV -22 Osprey aircraft to the island this fall are mustering up demonstrators to share the weekend with them.

Residents seeking to block deployment of MV-22 Osprey aircraft to the island are hoping for thousands to turn out Sunday morning at Ginowan Seaside Park. The demonstration planned for 11 a.m. Sunday was originally scheduled last month, but was postponed because of a typhoon.

Organizers are expecting the demonstration to be on a scale of “more than 50,000 people”, with the executive committee aiming to muster the highest scale demonstration ever, exceeding Okinawan residents’ previous demonstration when 110,000 people gathered in 2007. That rally brought tens of thousands to demand the withdrawal of a revision of the school history books suggested by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.

Organizers also decided to determine the details of their demands to the central government in their meeting on Sep 13th, after the Ginowan demonstration.

At a press interview, the joint representative of the committee, Naha Mayor Takeshi Onaga said “The demonstration will be observed in all of Japan.” Onaga says the weekend plan is to document Okinawan residents’ opinions, adding “we will obstruct the deployment of the MV22 Osprey for sure.”