47 images Created 24 Jan 2016
Protesters started direct action in front of this gate in July, 2014. However, the movement to prevent the expansion of the US military base is nearly 18 years old. The US military has made the completion of the new base at Henoko a condition for closing the dangerous Marine Corps Futenma Air Station. The crash of a US Marine transport helicopter from Futenma into a university campus, located in a crowded neighborhood, on August 13 2004 was a terrifying reminder of what is at stake in this struggle. The Guardian has stated that the location of the military air station in Ginowan "would be like having F22s landing in Hyde Park [London]." By linking the closure of Futenma to the construction of the new air base, the Japanese government and the US military have offered Okinawa’s urban residents the intolerable option of choosing whether to sacrifice their own safety, or their environmental heritage. Moving the military functions of Futenma to Henoko, moreover, merely shifts the affliction of the US base to other communities within Okinawa. This series, takes a closer look at the people against the US military expansion and of the pristine land they are trying to protect.