#StandWithOkinawa #WeThePeople Petition #1: Help us #SaveOuraBay in #Henoko to halt U.S. base construction
Last Updated: 2019/4/12 [JAPANESE]
NEWS: PETITION#2 HAS BEEN CLOSED [Explanatory note in Japanese]
1. QR Code to this Note
On September 22, 2011 the Obama Administration published an electronic petition site under the White House domain. Called "We The People", the system was established in accordance with the First Amendment of the Constitution which guarantees the right to petition the federal government. The aim was to give "a way to create and sign petitions on a range of issues affecting our nation," according to PEW Research Center which conducted a 5-year analysis of the petition system in 2016.
Anyone 13 years of age or older can create a WhiteHouse.gov account as well as to create a new petition and also sign petitions. The user is not required to be a U.S. citizen or living in the Unites States. Any White House petition created that passes the preset threshold of 100,000 signatures (as of 2016 but subject to change) will be reviewed by the White House and offered an official response.
Background Video [by Greenpeace (2015)]
On December 8, 2018, a Hawaiian resident by the name of R.K. (Rob Kajiwara) created a petition for Japan's Okinawan people. He asked U.S. President Donald Trump, the Commander in Chief of the U.S. Armed Forces, to halt the reclamation effort of the Oura Bay offshore the US Marine Corps Camps Schwab in Henoko, Nago City.
The construction site of the extended runway is to serve as a replacement facility to the Marine Corps Air Station Futenma (MCAS Futenma) located in Ginowan City, in accordance with two-decade old agreement signed between the U.S. and Japanese government in 1996 and reaffirmed in 2009 (PDF) under the LDP government. While there are criticisms abound from former Marines on the current agreement, R.K's request was to hold off the construction until the all-Okinawa referendum on the reclamation effort is completed, which is slated to take place at the end of next February.
For more details, read the statement below adopted by the Veterans For Peace on Okinawa about issues surrounding the "Henoko Solution".
Special Note: Struggle of Okinawan youths on holding the referendum
The referendum in question as explained above took place on February 24 as scheduled and resulted with an overwhelming majority (72% of voters) voting AGAINST the reclamation efforts.
But despite the results, the Japanese government continues to ignore the democratic will of the people of Okinawa and continues with its construction effort, suppressing protestors by brutal force and policing any dissent.
A second petition was filed on February 27 following the referendum but it failed to gather enough support in the given time. The second petition has now been closed and is archived on the White House petition website.
However, the first petition [THIS PETITION] is still ongoing until the White House provides a formal response.
As of April 12 signatures to R.K.'s petition has surpassed the 211,362 mark but have now declined to the 6th largest petition on record that has been filed during the Trump Administration. WE NEED TO BREAK THE 360,000 MARK which is by far the record largest number of signatures to date on a single White House petition. We want to beat this record so the whole world, including President Trump, would clearly notice.
Already interested? Read the Petition text and sign below:
Van Dyke Parks (Songwriter, Record Producer)
Dr. Brian May, CBE (Guitarist, Queen/Astrophysicist)
Ryuichi Sakamoto (Composer, Music Director)
4. Related Media Reports
East Asia Forum
The Japan Times
The Japan News - Yomiuri
Center for Biological Diversity
South China Morning Post
DC Media Group
5. Rules and Impact
The basic rule is that anyone 13 years of age or older can participate (sign) the petition. The deadline of this particular petition is until JANUARY 7, 2019. White House will issue a response within 60 days when the number of signatures for a given petition reaches the 100,000 threshold, in which case the White House will "review your petition, make sure it gets in front of the appropriate policy experts, and issue an official response."
The White House adds to say this:
"Once the petition reaches the required threshold, it will be put in a queue to be reviewed by the White House. Others can still sign the petition while it is awaiting a response. When the White House responds, everyone who has signed the petition will get email from the White House to let you know that we’ve reviewed and responded to the petition."
*NOTE 1: DO NOT use multiple accounts to sign.
"Only one account per individual is allowed. You may not sign the same petition more than once. You must be 13 or older in order to create an account and/or sign a petition, or otherwise participate in We the People."
*NOTE 2: MAKE SURE to check your email after signing.
A confirmation email will be sent to your registered email address after you click the 'Sign Now' button. Check your email from WhiteHouse.gov and follow the instruction. Your signature will then be registered and counted in. DO NOT leave the site without checking your email for confirmation.
Agree with the rules? Read the Petition text and sign below:
6. The Petition Text
We the people ask the federal government to
Propose a new Administration policy:
Stop the landfill of Henoko / Oura Bay
until a referendum can be held in Okinawa
Created by R.K. on December 08, 2018
President Trump: Please STOP the landfill work in Okinawa until a democratic referendum can be held. Earlier this year the Okinawan people overwhelmingly elected Gov. Denny Tamaki on the premise of STOPPING the construction at Henoko / Oura Bay. The Bay is a CRUCIAL part of the Okinawan ecosystem. However the Japanese government & U.S. military have so far IGNORED the democratic will of Gov. Tamaki & the Okinawan people. The irreversible part of the construction is set to begin on Dec. 14 (JST). If this is allowed it will surely incur strong anti-U.S. sentiment among Okinawans & will forever strain U.S.-Okinawa relations. Please order a HALT to the construction & ensure that democracy prevails. Please show Okinawans that America is indeed an honorable and GREAT nation.
Agree with the petition text? Sign the petition below:
7. Video Message from the petition starter R.K.
Twitter Moment (for sharing on SNS with audiovisual cover page)
1. R.K.'s very first tweet saying he just created the petition
2. R.K.'s ensuing tweets
3. Brief explanation via my English account
4. Description of R.K's profile via my English account
5. Message video from R.K.
6. Other videos posted by R.K.
7. My tweet introducing this Note
This Note in Japanese: