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Kadena residents stage own Futenma protest

Date Posted: 2009-11-11

Residents of Kadena Town know one thing about the proposed relocation of Futenma Marine Corps Air Station: they do not want it shifted to their back yard and Kadena Air Base.

To make sure their opinions weren’t overshadowed by the thousands of demonstrators protesting Futenma relocation as a whole, Kadena Town turned out about 2,000 demonstrators to Kadena Rotary Park on Saturday to be sure the national government understood their position against consolidating Futenma operations at Kadena Air Base. “Some politicians in the new ruling parties have a very bad idea,” said Kadena Town Mayor Tokujitsu Miyagi, referring to Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada’s idea that Futenma’s planes and operations be co-located at Kadena Air Base alongside the U.S. Air Force.

“They aren’t working and struggling to find the best solutions about transferring Futenma,” Miyagi said of the Democratic Party of Japan political leaders scrambling to find an easy solution. “There’s nothing keeping the promises for our town,” Miyagi says, “the noise pollution has never been reduced and we will not agree to bring the Futenma Air Station to Kadena Air Base. Never ever.” He reminded the several thousand protest partricipants “it was first brought up 13 years ago that Futenma should incorporate to Kadena, but we were against this idea then and protested, and then the idea was gone.”

Miyagi asked “How come this idea has again come up? Does the Foreign Minister think about Kadena Town’s people?” The Kadena Town mayor accused Okada of “riding roughshod over Kadena people’s feelings,” and said “we will never accept the idea.”

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