Hayao Miyazaki Appointed As Joint Leader of Fund Opposing Relocation of Okinawan Military Base

posted on by Crystalyn Hodgkins
Henoko Fund has raised more than 100 million yen to oppose relocation of Futenma base

The Henoko Fund — a group founded to oppose the relocation of the Marine Corps Air Station Futenma to the Henoko area of Nago city in the north of Okinawa's main island — announced on Thursday that it will name anime director and Studio Ghibli co-founder Hayao Miyazaki as one of the fund's joint representatives.

Miyazaki had said in a statement in November 2014, "Demilitarizing Okinawa is essential for peace in East Asia."

As of April 28, the Henoko Fund has raised more than 100 million yen (about US$834,691). The fund said it hopes to raise its profile domestically and internationally by adding the internationally renown director to its leadership.

Other joint representatives in the fund include: Tokujitsu Miyagi, the mayor of the town of Kadenachō in Okinawa; Kanehide Holdings Co., Ltd. chairman Morimasa Goya; Kariyushi Group CEO Chokei Taira; Okiham president Tokumatsu Nagahama; Masaru Satō, an author and former intelligence analyst at the Foreign Ministry; Fumiko Sugawara, the wife of late actor Bunta Sugawara; and news photographer Bunyō Ishikawa.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. President Barack Obama reaffirmed in a statement in Washington D.C. on April 28 that they would move forward with the relocation of the base to Henoko. Abe said in the statement, "The dangers arising from the Futenma Air Station being surrounded by housing and schools should be eliminated by relocation to Henoko as soon as possible. We will move forward with mitigating the impact of the base in Okinawa, founded on a strong relationship of trust between Japan and the United States." Henoko is less densely populated than Futenma. Futenma is located 5.8 miles from Okinawa prefecture's capital city of Naha, which is on the southern part of the island.

Sources: Ryukyu Shimpo, The Japan Times via Rocket News 24

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