Our Views about the Reply by the Governor of Okinawa Prefecture to our Open Letter Concerning the Relocation of Futenma Air Station of the U.S. Marine Corps to Nago

July 10, 2000

Governor of Okinawa: Keiichi Inamine

We have got a written reply from the Governor of Okinawa Prefecture, Keiichi Inamine, dated 19 June to our open letter of 14 February this year which reached a little too later than the time limit we set (by the end of March). We, however, appreciate his effort to make an answer. The Mayor of Nago replied us he did not answer our questions this time. It is hoped that he change his mind and respect our request. We would like to express our views as follows and ask the Governor to reexamine our requests.

1. We are disappointed with the answer of the Governor on the whole because of its equivocal wording. We suspect it comes from an ambiguous attitude and the lack of autonomous independence of the local government toward the central government. For example, the written answer does not indicate the 15 years holding of the new base by the U.S. and the protection of environment as 'prerequisite' to accept the relocation of the base. It also simply evaluate the effort of the Government by abstract wording like 'positive effort' or 'minimized damage' which in turn is tantamount to support the Government.

2. The four remarks shown by the Prefectural government as the effects of relocation of the U.S. base.

(1) The will of the residents is possibly reflected (not with the referendum in 1997 which result showed against the base construction but) with the resolution of Nago city assembly to promote the relocation.

(2) Reduction in total acreage of military bases possibly resulted in the disposition and reduction of the U.S. Forces attained in Okinawa

(3) Relocation of Futenma Air Station possibly alleviate noise pollution

(4) The acceptance of the policy of Japanese Government promote the economic development of Okinawa
All of these answers shows the Governor of Okinawa dodged the main points of argument which were pointed out concretely in our questions. So, we are not convinced by these replies.

3. The letter appreciates the following two policy of the central government

(1) the establishment of an organization for environmental survey

(2) the agreement between the government and Nago city as a first step to resolve the problems.
It must be pointed out that it is unrealistic and irresponsible to expect too much to the U.S. Forces and Japanese Government, since U.S. Forces have been ignoring the aspiration of the Japanese people and the Japanese Government bas been doing nothing in order to rectify the situation Our scientists and experts have repeatedly proved that the construction of the planned aviation base would cause inevitable and irreversible destruction of the environment and the ecosystem. These problems could not be resolved through establishment of an institute or administrative and diplomatic effects.

4. From these points of views, the reply of the Governor has serious problems regarding that the local government of Okinawa accepts the presence of the U.S. bases for the first time in history. It would be a bad precedent. The issue has a deep connection with peace and security of Japan and Asia and could not be overlooked as a local issue of Okinawa prefecture. It is true that the most criticized should be the U.S. and Japanese governments who are pursuing the the policy of relocating of Futenma base to another spot in Okinawa prefecture. However, the governor of Okinawa and the Mayor of Nago city should withdraw the acceptance of the proposed relocation of the base in conformity with the municipal independence. We really hope this problem to be discussed throughout the nation.

Japan Scientists' Association (JSA), Peace Problem Research Committee: Chairman, Tomoyasu Kawai
Academic Investigation to the Okinawa U.S. Offshore Base of 1997: Leader, Masao Kihara
JSA Okinawa Branch: Representative Secretary, Hiroshi Takei


The official reply by the Governor of Okinawa was written in Japanese, and should not be translated by us JSA. Please request the explanation of the reply in English to Okinawa Prefecture directly: Document No. is So-Hen 99, dated June 19, 2000.

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JSA Okinawa Branch
Established in November 1969 (3-yr before the reversion of Okinawa)
120 members consist of professors of the national university of the Ryukyus, Okinawa International University, and Okinawa University, high school teachers, medical doctors, attorney in law, scientists of various institutes.
Hiroshi Takei (Professor emeritus at the Univ. of the Ryukyus, Biochemistry)
Susumu Arakaki (Professor at the Univ. of the Ryukyus, civil law)

Japan Scientists' Association # 2000.7.19

Open Letter Concerning the Relocation of Futenma Air Station of U.S. Marine Corps to Nago('00.2.14)

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