Long-time Okinawan politician Teruya Kantoku has retired. He served as a representative of Okinawa Prefecture to the Parliament of Japan for a combined 24 years.
"Uchinanchu will decide the future of Uchinanchu!" he said in an inspiring farewell message. Uchinanchu is the Native term to refer to Indigenous Okinawans. Mr. Teruya has long been an advocate of Okinawan self-determination, including the removal of the U.S. military bases from Okinawa.
Additionally, Mr. Teruya has been a steadfast supporter of the Ryukyu / Okinawan independence movement, frequently appearing at independence events.
In February 2019 Robert Kajiwara, President of the Peace For Okinawa Coalition, was detained by the Japan Immigration Bureau while transiting between Honolulu and Tokyo via Kansai International Airport. The next day Kajiwara was scheduled to speak at a press conference at the Japan Parliament to discuss his petition with 200,000+ signatures demanding a stop to the construction of the U.S. military base at Henoko, Okinawa. Mr. Teruya called the Bureau and personally intervened for Kajiwara, who was then released.
The Peace For Okinawa Coalition would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude for the hard work of Mr. Teruya Kantoku over the course of his long career. His numerous contributions to Okinawa have left a lasting impact that will reverberate for generations to come.
Tweet from the Social Democratic Party of Japan: