Statement (July 30th)
A signature collection campaign for realizing to hold "Henoko" referendum on the construction of the new U.S. military base in Henoko has begun on May 23rd 2018 and ended on July 23rd 2018. This campaign has gradually obtained many public supports and succeeded to collect 100,979 signatures (8.72% of eligible voters), which substantially exceeded its minimum legal number of voters.
Our campaign has made an achievement in the history of referendum, the direct democratic system. Thanks to the cooperation of political parties, labor’s unions, business enterprises, citizen’s groups and especially great many people in Okinawa, this civic movement scored success. We would like to congratulate our success and may I please express our appreciation for the supports.
In this campaign, we really felt that many people in Okinawa were strongly hoping to hold "Henoko" referendum. Through the campaign, we managed to remove misunderstanding to the "Henoko" referendum and deepen discussions in order to solve conflicting opinions. We believe that this is a great significance.
The first stage has been accomplished with the success of the signature-gathering campaign. We now move to the second stage where the referendum bylaw will be formed in the Okinawan prefectural assembly. We hope that the members of the prefectural assembly have sincere heart to understand the will of the people in Okinawa and deliberate the bylaw for its establishment. The final and important stage for actual referendum will be begun by the enactment of the "Henoko" referendum.
The Japanese government's position that the relocation to Henoko is the only option remains unchanged and they are now forcing construction to proceed. The government said "We are unable to gain understanding from the people in mainland for making it the relocation site." The root of the whole problem is their iron-fist rule toward Okinawa. It is quite important for us, the people of Okinawa as sovereign members of society, to represent the public opinion by standing the principles of democracy.
The prefectural referendum is proceeding under the law in democratic nation. It also adheres with the spirit of article 95 of the Constitution of Japan.
We expect further discussion over the Henoko issue among Okinawa islands and many people regardless of age or gender. At the same time, we keep pleading with the whole nation to resolve the issue by arousing national discussion, which is related to the national security and furthermore influence the future of democracy. We are purposed to continue the campaign.
Based on the importance of the referendum, we strongly demand to the Japanese government that the construction of the new U.S. base in Henoko should be stopped until the implementation of the referendum.
July 30th 2018
The association of “Henoko” Referendum on the Construction of a new U.S. Base in Henoko
Representative: Jinshiro MOTOYAMA