On July 24, the newly-formed “Nuchi du takara (life is a treasure)! Ryukyu self-determination association (preparatory association)” held an event to celebrate its formation at the Central Community Center in Nishihara Town. Approximately 150 people attended the event. The association aims to be a “civil society-style political organization” and plans to utilize the United Nations and international law to work toward realizing self-determination, with an eye on the possibility of eventually achieving Ryukyuan independence. The association plans to develop into an official political association once it attains a certain number of supporters.
The association upholds five tenets, including “embodying the history of Ryuku/Okinawa up until the present, and, with strength, opening up the future through the exercise of Ryuku/Okinawan self-determination with a readiness to aim for independence,” and “bidding farewell to the colonialism of Ryukyu/Okinawa by Japan and the United States, which continues today in the form of the Henoko new base construction issue.” Members are required to have roots in the Ryukyu arc.
As its basic policy, the association upholds the goals of “working together with the United Nations, international society, and East Asia and expanding self-determination” and “seeing resolutions supporting the realization of self-determination passed by all of [Okinawa’s] city, town, and village assemblies, and by the Prefectural Assembly.” It plans to work on a variety of pressing issues, including working to achieve the immediate closure of U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, opposing the forcible construction of a new base in Henoko and of Osprey pads in Takae, and opposing increased Japan Self-Defense Force deployment on Okinawa and further militarization of Okinawa, in addition to working to promote economic development, cultural promotion, language education, and an improved working environment.
One sponsor of the association, Nishihara Town councilmember Yoshio Yonamine, said, “Ultimately, we hope to become a group capable of conducting a prefectural referendum on the issue of realizing self-determination.”
(English translation by T&CT and Sandi Aritza)