[Essay] Symposium “Okinawa Base Problem and Thinking about the Constitution in Hokkaido” was held on September 22, 2016

Great Success of the “Okinawa Base Problem and Thinking about the Constitution in Hokkaido” Symposium

On September 22, 2016, at the Sapporo Kinokuniya main book store, a symposium entitled “Okinawa Base Problem and Thinking about the Constitution in Hokkaido” (co-hosted by the Hokkaido Shimbun) was held. Approximately 160 people came to participate in this event and made it truly successful. Some people who participated in the first seminar held at SRC on September 21 also came.  

The first panelist, Mr. Fumiaki Nozoe (Okinawa International University), explained the historical background to the Okinawa base problem, and the second panelist, Mr. Tomohiro Yara (former reporter of the Okinawa Times), discussed the current state of the base and the reasons behind the Japanese government’s decision to station the Marine Corps in Okinawa. The third panelist, Mr. Masaki Saito, looked at the problem in the context of the Constitution in Hokkaido. Heated disputes continued with discussions on such topics as Okinawa citizens responding to the military bases, impact of strengthening the alliance between Japan and the US on the Marine Corps, and predicted constitutional amendments. Even though the meeting was two hours long, there were still many questions to discuss but, during this short meeting, the participants could hear information that is usually hard to find in the mass media.

The authors were impressed that many standing participants did not leave but stayed till the end of the event. A detailed report will soon be available in the Hokkaido Shimbun.  

(Written by: Akihiro Iwashita. Translated by: Aleksandra Kuklina)

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