【PART 2】 The Mystery of Fukushima: Why Japan Cannot Stop Nuclear Power Plants？
【12】 Mystery of Henoko
There is another comparably famous mystery along with that of the Osprey. That is the mystery of the building of a new base in Henoko.
In 1995, a shocking incident occurred in central Okinawa. There, three American soldiers kidnapped a 12-year-old girl, who had come to a shopping street to buy a notebook. They took her away by car and raped her at a beach nearby. This event caused large-scale campaigns in opposition to the stationing of U.S. Forces. As a result, the next year (1996), an agreement was reached on returning the Futenma base, called “the most dangerous airfield in the world.”
Before we knew it, however, another agreement had been made between Japan and the U.S. As a condition of returning the Futenma base, a new large U.S. base was to be constructed in Henoko, the beautiful north cape of the Okinawa main island.
One explanation for this is that all bases in Okinawa were built on land forcibly taken by the U.S. Forces during or even after the war. To construct bases, they seized land by bulldozing houses and erecting guns.
Now, however, there is an important difference. If the people of Okinawa allow them to build a base in Henoko this time, they themselves are accepting the presence of U.S. bases for the first time in the history of Okinawa. They must prevent this at any cost, so tenacious protest campaigns are continuing.
If the Japanese government tries to enforce building the base, it will definitely lead to bloodshed. Many people will join the protests.
Why, then, cannot the plan be stopped?
Please examine this secret document from 1957. It says “Under the Administrative Agreement, the right to decide upon new base requirements and retain existing bases has been left to U.S. military judgment (3).”
Since the Japanese government has agreed on this, they cannot do anything even if residents are in danger or precious nature is destroyed. This is the same structure as the Osprey case.
Since we cannot expect anything from the Japanese government, we Japanese citizens must act on our own to make them stop building this huge base. Okinawan people understand this fact very well.