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Michail Gorbachev speaks in Naha event

Date Posted: 2001-11-15

The memorial lecture for the 80th anniversary of Naha City was held Wednesday at Naha City Hall. The keynote speaker at the event was the former president of the Soviet Union, Michail Gorbachev. At the event Gorbachev spoke on the theme “the world of the 21st century.” In his speech Gorbachev emphasized that “Military is not everything. Talk and exchange are important. Educating new generations will lead to a peaceful and stable world, and will eventually also help to solve the problems that Okinawa now faces.” The hall was packed with more than 2,000 people who gave Gorbachev a thunderous applause.

Before the lecture, Gorbachev talked with Naha Mayor Takeshi Onaga at the Naha City Hall, where the two discussed about the problems linked to the military bases on Okinawa, and the current situation in the world after the terror attack. During the discussion, Gorbachev said that in his opinion the U.S. military should leave Okinawa soon, as its presence here is not necessary as this part of the world has stabilized. He emphasizing that both governments (Japanese and U.S.) should hold discussions on the matter and make an effort to reduce the excessive burden on Okinawa caused by the presence of the bases.

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