Big demonstration against U.S. military presence held at Onoyama
According to organizers, about 65,000 people took part in a rally held on Sunday at Onoyama Park in Naha, to protest the recent rape and murder of a 20-year-old woman in Uruma.
A suspect in the crime, a civilian worker of a base contractor, Kenneth Franklin Shinzato, was arrested for dumping the woman’s body exactly a month ago on May 19th and was served a second arrest warrant on suspicion of rape murder on Jun. 9th.
The demonstrators adopted a resolution demanding the withdrawal of all Marines from Okinawa, a complete revision of SOFA, closure of MCAS Futenma and scrapping of the Futenma replacement construction plan in off Camp Schwab in Henoko.
The father of the murdered woman sent a written message to the people participating in the demonstration. “Why did my daughter have to be killed. The base-linked crimes lead to immeasurable sorrow, agony and anger of the victim’s family and friends, and that can only be avoided by removing the US. bases from Okinawa,” he wrote.
Okinawa Governor Takeshi Onaga addressed the demonstrators, and declared that the Japanese government should understand that “Okinawan people’s anger has reached its limits.”
The demonstration organizer, a civic group named ‘All Okinawa Kaigi’ had tried to attract all political parties to the rally, but the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and its partner Komeito declined and did not send representatives.