Tell your representatives: stop the Henoko base

A US military base now under construction in Okinawa, Japan threatens a precious marine habitat that supports numerous endangered species. The offshore airfield, in a place called Henoko, would replace Futenma, an old, dangerous base elsewhere in Okinawa.

The people of Okinawa, however, demand that Futenma be closed with no replacement in Okinawa. With 31 bases occupying 15% of the island, they already bear a grossly excessive burden of the US military presence in Japan, bringing noise, crime, aircraft accidents, and toxic leaks. Okinawans have repeatedly shown their opposition—most recently, with a referendum in which 72% said "no" to the base—but Washington and Tokyo ignore them.

The New York Times writes that "the security this [US military presence in Okinawa] brings to Japan and the region cannot come at the expense of an unfair, unwanted and often dangerous burden on Japan’s poorest citizens." In fact, neither Futenma nor its Henoko replacement have any strategic rationale that can’t be satisfied elsewhere. As former defense secretary William Perry puts it, the US mission “could be met at other locations. It did not have to be met at Futenma. It did not have to be met at bases in Okinawa.”

To avert the injustice of forcing a needless US base on people who don't want it, it's imperative that Americans urge their representatives to reconsider this plan. To save the bay off Henoko, we, and they, must act quickly.

Letter Campaign by
Jon Reinsch
Seattle, United Kingdom