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Monday, September 10, 2012

Resolution: Anti-Osprey Rally in Okinawa, September 9, 2012  決議文: 9月9日オスプレイ配備反対沖縄県民大会

See below resolution text and Kyodo news for description of the anti-Osprey rally in Okinawa on September 9, 2012, attended by over 100,000 people, according to the organizer. Rallies were also held around the Parliament Building in Tokyo, in Iwakuni, Yamaguchi, where Osprey aircraft are currently stationed, and Ishigaki and Miyako islands. 9月9日に沖縄で開催され、東京、岩国、宮古、石垣等で同時開催されたオスプレイ配備反対集会の英日決議文を紹介します(日本文は下方)。
The Okinawa Prefectural Citizens’ Rally Against Osprey Deployment: Resolution

We are gathered here today to protest with indignation against the forceful deployment of the vertical take-off and landing transport aircraft, the MV-22 Osprey, and to call for the withdrawal of its deployment plans.

 Due to the presence of the US forces’ bases, the citizens of Okinawa prefecture have been imposed with a multitude of damages related to military facilities. Looking just at the years since the reversion of Okinawa to Japan in 1972, the number of criminal cases involving US military personnel and/or other related persons has reached close to 6,000. At present, incidents, accidents, and noise damage related to the US forces still continue.

 With the abduction and rape of a local schoolgirl by three US servicemen in September of 1995, The Okinawan People’s Rally was held in October of the same year where 85,000 citizens gathered to voice their anger and protest against the US forces. In response to the strong protest by the people, the Special Action Committee on Okinawa (SACO) was established, and both governments of Japan and the United States agreed to the full return of MCAS Futenma.

 However, it has been 16 years since the agreement was concluded and MCAS Futenma still remains in the middle of a densely populated urban area and continues to threaten the lives and assets of the Okinawan people.

 Against this background, the United States government gave notice that the “structurally defective” Osprey aircraft is going to be deployed to the dangerous facility of MCAS Futenma, and these aircraft have already been unloaded at MCAS Iwakuni in Yamaguchi Prefecture. Furthermore, it has become apparent that the Osprey would be in operation not just at MCAS Futenma, but also in training at Kadena Air Force Base and at the Northern Training Area. With the risks of crashes, accidents, and noise issues resulting from the training and operation of the Osprey which spans throughout all of Okinawa, the concern, anxiety and indignation of the citizens have risen to unprecedented levels.

 The Osprey has had repeated accidents since its development stages and has caused a large number of fatalities. We have even seen this year, the crashes in Morocco and in the State of Florida. Experts are citing its structural deficiencies and thus, we cannot accept the Osprey deployment without sound confirmation of its safety.

 The citizens of Okinawa adamantly oppose further burdens imposed by the military bases. Moreover, if the national government ignores the calls of the people of the prefecture, we declare that we will work to unite the general consensus of the prefecture’s citizens opposing the bases.

 We strongly urge both governments of Japan and the United States to take seriously and sincerely the indomitable resolve of the citizens against the Osprey deployment and to immediately withdraw the deployment plans, and to close and remove MCAS Futenma.

The above is resolved as stated on this 9th day of September, 2012.

The Okinawa Prefectural Citizens’ Rally Against Osprey Deployment

佐喜眞美術館館長、佐喜眞道夫さん(右)Sakima Michio (right),
director of Sakima Art Museum, adjacent to Futenma Air Station.












東京での、国会包囲運動 A protest rally in front of the Parliament Building, Tokyo.

From Kyodo News:  
Tens of thousands protest against Osprey deployment

Tens of thousands of people rallied on Okinawa and outside the Diet building in Tokyo on Sunday against the deployment of U.S. Osprey military aircraft after a series of accidents elsewhere involving the planes.
Protesters demanded the United States and Japan immediately scrap plans to deploy 12 MV-22 Ospreys at the Futenma base on Okinawa and shut down the Futenma base in the crowded city of Ginowan.
“We refuse to accept a deployment of Osprey that has already proven so dangerous,” said Ginowan Mayor Atsushi Sakima. “Who is going to take responsibility if they crash onto a populated neighborhood?”
The turnout at the main rally was estimated by organizers at more than 100,000. Okinawan media put the number at “tens of thousands.”
“We don’t want the Osprey, the world’s most dangerous aircraft” read a placard at the mass rally at a seaside park near the base, according to television footage. “Osprey. No!” said another.
Similar rallies were staged on two smaller islands in the Okinawa island chain and in Tokyo several thousand people circled the Diet building.
The Osprey has rotors that allow it to take off like a helicopter. It can refuel in the air, allowing it to cover big distances in a region where concerns have mounted over the rise of China.
Ginowan mayor Atsushi Sakima told the rally the safety of the hybrid transport aircraft “has not been guaranteed.”
In April, an MV-22 Osprey crashed in Morocco, killing two Marines.
Another variant of the aircraft crashed in June in Florida, injuring five crew members, although US officials said the accident was not due to mechanical problems.
Concerns heightened further when an MV-22 made an emergency landing in a residential area outside a Marine base in Jacksonville, North Carolina, on Thursday.
Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda told U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton of Japan’s concerns over the Osprey’s safety on the sidelines of an Asia-Pacific summit in Russia on Saturday, according to Japanese media.
The United States and Japan have been bogged down for years in talks to relocate the Futenma base, which locals want to see moved away from the island chain.

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