International environment NGO Friends of the Earth Japan, and members of the Preserve and Protect Henoko and Takae! NGO networks have submitted a petition with names of 19,406 citizens to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Minister of Defense Takeshi Iwaya, calling for the swift halt of the construction of the Henoko US Military Base. The staff in charge has collected the petition. 

In the United States, Friends of the Earth US has submitted their signed petition to President Donald Trump, House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith, and Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman James Inhofe at AM10:30 on the 24th (EDT). 

In the petition, it is pointed out that, at the referendum that took place in Okinawa on February 24th citizens overwhelmingly voted against the construction of the military base. Citizens have expressed that the Japanese and US governments shall stop all unnecessary constructions, thereby protecting democracy and precious Okinawan coral reefs. 

International environment NGO Friends of the Earth Japan Chairwoman Kanna Mitsuta has commented, “If the Japanese government wants to reduce the burden of US bases on Okinawan citizens and eradicate the dangers surrounding Futenma US Air base, one should do so by making efforts for the return of Futenma to Japan. Instead the Japanese government is ignoring the voices of 70% of the Okinawans, while dumping landfill and destroying on one of the most ecologically diverse waters on earth”. 

Protect Henoko & Takae! NGO Network Sponsor Yuki Sekimoto has also stated, “military actions should never be prioritized over public opinion, the environment and ecology, and people’s lives”. 

Of the 19,406 signatures on the petition opposing the construction of Henoko US military base, 2,808 people have signed in Japan and 16,598 have signed in the United States. Other than that, people of 57 other countries including France, Luxembourg, Georgia, Bangladesh, Switzerland, Sweden, Taiwan, Italy, Germany, Spain, Austria, Australia, India, Korea, New Zealand, Brazil, UK, Belgium, Hungary, Netherlands, Slovenia, Finland, Argentina, Costa Rica, Chile, Malaysia have also signed the petition, showing an international regard for the construction of Henoko US military base.

 

For more information contact: Hanae Takahashi – takahashi@foejapan.org

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