Friday, December 17, 2010

"NO, YOU KANT" — Okinawans affirm their democratic choice during Japanese Prime Minister Kan's visit

Okinawans repeat the same message they've been communicating for sixteen years to Tokyo. (Photo: NHK)

Okinawans loudly affirmed their democratic choice against another U.S. military base on their small island during Japanese Prime Minister Kan's visit, pounding on empty cans, holding signs: "No, You Kant!" and "No New Base!"

This video report from the Okinawa Times demonstrates the power and resilence energizing Okinawan expression of their democratic choice. Okinawans have repeatedly said "No" to Tokyo and Washington which want to build a new mega-base in Henoko, an environmentally sensitive and biodiverse area (home of the critically endangered Okinawan dugong) in north-central Okinawa.

Locals in Henoko have engaged in a 24/7 sit-in demonstrating against the proposed mega-base since 1996. In the past decade, global environmentalists have joined in the fight against the environmentally destructive base. In a historic turn of unanimity of opposition against another U.S. military base, throughout 2010 Okinawans have been nonviolently and massively demonstrating against the construction of the U.S. mega-base.

More from Satoko Norimatsu (who is in Okinawa now for a forum, "Where is Okinawa Going?" being held at the University of Okinawa) at the Peace Philosophy Centre website.

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