Fast & Vigil: Don’t build a US military base on the bones of the war dead at Henoko, Okinawa
Union Square, New York
We are planning to have a one-day fast and vigil in solidarity with Gushiken Takamatsu, an Okinawan bone collector, who has been volunteering for 40 years to find the remains to return the dead to their families and is planning to start a hunger strike to protest and appeal to the Japanese central government not to use the soil containing the remains of war-dead — civilians and both Japanese and US soldiers — for constructing a new US military base at Henoko, Okinawa.
Okinawa already holding 32 US military installations and the US military occupies 15 % of all land on the Okinawa mainland. The local residents have opposed the construction of this US military installation officially expressed through elections and referendums, but their voices have been ignored by the Japanese Central government.
Even the feasibility of completion in construction is dubious because of the site’s extremely soft sea bed. To deal with this challenge, the central government plans to collect earth and sand from the Southern part of Okinawa Island, where the fierce battle was taken place, and the remains of the war-dead are still left.
“This is a humanitarian issue,” Gushiken insists. However, as about 70 % of the earth needed is to be sourced from Itoman, to stop mining the earth and sand in the area will be an effective way to stop constructing the base itself.
Please join us in the vigil at Union Square or at your own place — one-day fast, prayer, SMS messaging, or in whatever way to raise your awareness and voice to keep the peace in East Asia, the Pacific, and the world.