This just in: NHK just showed clips of Prime Minister Hatoyama, dressed in an light yellow Okinawan-print shirt, after meeting with Okinawa governor Hirokazu Naikama. The prime minister proposed the construction of a new base on pristine Tokunoshima island and refloated an already rejected plan to expand Camp Schwab. In response, Nakaima stated that Hatoyama is clearly ignoring the voice of the Okinawan people.
Astoundingly, his announcement came only six days after 100,000 people joined together in Okinawa to protest the construction of new U.S. bases on April 25th.
In solidarity, on the same date, around 400 people in Kyoto participated in an open-air tea party, demonstration, and rally where community members enjoyed Okinawan food and music while discussing the occupation of U.S. bases in Okinawa. The following is a video with highlights from the event organized by Kyoto Action (For a previous entry on Kyoto action, click here):
More photos and information in Japanese can be found at the Kyoto Action website.
Despite Prime Minister Hatoyama's proclamation that he will not allow new bases to be built in Okinawa, he is now reconsidering those plans. He is meeting with 3 mayors from Tokunoshima in Tokyo when he returns. Kyoto Action wants to make sure that we all keep an eye on PM Hatoyama in his negotiations and make sure that bases are no longer pushed on Okinawa.
-- Jen Teeter