August 19, 2016 Ryukyu Shimpo
On August 8, the August 23-30 issue of the weekly magazine Jyosei Jishin hit shelves, containing a printed discussion between actress Sayuri Yoshinaga and political scientist Sang-jung Kang concerning construction of new helipads around Takae, Higashi Village, The topic of their discussion is the prevention of a new pre-war period. Through the dialogue, they touched on execution of the security legislation, citizens’ movements, Article 9, and abolition of nuclear weapons, among other things.
Kang pointed out that, “[The government] is forcefully suppressing Okinawans who are opposing construction of U.S. military helipads in the community of Takae, Okinawa.” In response Yoshinaga said, “I wish the people of Okinawa, who have had experiences so painful that they cannot be expressed with words, would be treated more humanely.” Both wished that the Japanese government would treat Okinawans opposing helipad construction more like people.
In the article, Yoshinaga says, “I have such a feeling of sympathy [for Okinawa], that it makes me wonder if the Marine Corps are so necessary, why are the Marines not brought to Tokyo [to be stationed]?”
In her career, Yoshinaga has appeared in Aa Himeyuri no To, a 1968 movie themed around the Himeyuri “Lily Corps” students. She is continuing her life work of doing public readings of poems about the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and of tales for children about the Battle of Okinawa. At a 2013 meeting hosted by All-Okinawa for returning Okinawa to its own sovereignty, Yoshinaga delivered the message that, “It is our duty to think of Okinawa.”
The discussion on prevention of A New Pre-war Period between Yoshinaga and Kang is available to read at the web magazine Ryukyu Shimpo Style (Japanese only).
(English translation by T&CT and Erin Jones)