Voices | VIEWS FROM THE STREET

Nago: What should the world learn from the Battle of Okinawa?

by Jon Mitchell

Jon Mitchell spoke to locals and visitors in Nago, the proposed site of a new base to replace the U.S. Marines’ Futenma facility in Ginowan, central Okinawa.

Eiko Ginoza
Homemaker (Okinawan)

We must refuse to make any more bases that will be used to kill other people. The most important thing is life — it is a gift from God and we should always remember that we should never kill.

Natalie Allison
Student, 26 (British)

The military can’t be used as a means of maintaining peace, nor to protect innocent people caught up in war. People brought up with war only know of war. People who have survived war only want to maintain peace.

Jinshiro Motoyama
Student, 23 (Okinawan)

There is an important lesson for teachers. In the lead-up to the Battle of Okinawa, they only taught children what the government told them. Today, teachers need to think carefully about what they teach.

Maki Sunagawa
Graduate student, 24 (Okinawan)

Militarism does not protect people. War is a racket that only provides immense financial gains to a handful of people. Therefore it is imperative to stop the tyranny of the Shinzo Abe regime here in Okinawa.

Shion Manabe
Student, 21 (Japanese)

We need to learn the importance of knowing true history, being aware and taking actions with vision for the benefit of future generations. We mustn’t repeat the same mistakes.

Seiichi Nishihara
Former guesthouse owner (Okinawan)

The military doesn’t protect — it only destroys people. Without a military, our ancestors were able to manage relations with other countries in a respectful way. I believe we can do so again.

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