Large protest rally against Henoko construction held in Onoyama
A large protest rally demanding the cancellation of the U.S. military base construction at Henoko took place at Okinawa Cellular Stadium Naha in Onoyama, Naha City, from 1 p.m. on May 17th.
According to organizers, about 35,000 people gathered to the stadium for the rally. Okinawa Governor Takeshi Onaga addressed the crowd and again stressed that the Okinawan people’s will was expressed in the Nago City mayoral election, the gubernatorial election and the Lower House election that were all held last year, and in which candidates opposing the new base construction in Henoko all won.
In the rally, well known journalist Shuntaro Torigoe, and Masaru Sato, a former chief analyst and diplomat and currently a novelist, both gave a speech. In addition, Oliver Stone, a world famous movie director and an Academy Award winner, sent a message to the meeting.
Organizers of the rally pointed out that they had not sent messages out of the island referring to the past protest activities on Okinawa, so receiving such a message from overseas shows that the news of the local people’s strong opposition to the base construction in Henoko has gained attention and, at the same time, the power of empathy is increasing and spreading out not only through the nation but to the world.