Kagoshima island residents protest proposed relocation of Futenma base

Mainichi Shimbun

TOKUNOSHIMA, Kagoshima -- Some 4,200 local residents held a protest rally here on Sunday against the proposed relocation of U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma to the area.

The rally was held in the Kagoshima Prefecture island of Tokunoshima with about one sixth of some 25,000 islanders taking part. Led by the mayors of the three local towns of Tokunoshima, Amagi and Isen, the protesters opposed the central government's plan to relocate Futenma base in Ginowan, Okinawa Prefecture, to the island.

"The government has never consulted with any of the three mayors about the issue, even though it advocates the decentralization of authority," said Tokunoshima Mayor Hideki Takaoka, as he criticized the Hatoyama administration's disrespect for municipal governments.

"We cannot expose our children to noise and crime. We don't need a base here on this island of children, longevity and mutual corporation," said a 39-year-old housewife, while other participants held up signs that read: "Let's protect our island." The protest was organized by the municipalities and an organizing committee consisting of over 60 groups from Kagoshima's Amami Islands.

General Manager of local agricultural cooperative Shigemitsu Kamioka also expressed his resentment, saying: "The Tokunoshima Island is an island of agriculture. With the relocation of the base, local farmers could lose their land and excessive noise could prevent animals from reproducing."

Also in attendance at the event was local House of Representatives member of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) Takeshi Tokuda, as well as other lawmakers and prefectural assembly members of the LDP, Komeito and the Japanese Communist Party, making it look like an anti-Democratic Party of Japan campaign.

"The island was once split over an election campaign, and the dispute is finally settling down. I don't want the locals to clash with each other ever again," said a 51-year-old woman, expressing her concern that the island may be involved in a political war.



 米軍普天間飛行場(沖縄県宜野湾市)の移転先候補とされる鹿児島県・徳之島で28日、島民らによる移設反対大会があった。約2万5000人の小さ な島だが、地元3町長をはじめ島民約4200人(主催者発表)が集まり「徳之島への移設を断固として反対する」決議文を採択。全島あげて「移設反対」をア ピールした。


 高岡秀規徳之島町長は「『地域主権』をうたっているのに、3町長には一言も打診がない」と、鳩山政権の「地元軽視」の姿勢を批判。主婦代表として 登壇した磯川まりえさん(39)は「子どもを犯罪と騒音の中にさらすことはできない。子宝・長寿・結いの島に基地はいらない」と声を張り上げ、島民は「島 を守ろう」などと書いたプラカードを高々と掲げた。


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