The other day, several American students majoring in journalism came to Henoko to learn about what’s happening here.
We were happy to hear that it was our blog that prompted them to come.
They seemed surprised by the juxtaposition between the U.S. Marine Corps’ Camp Schwab and the beauty of Oura Bay. Confronted with the fact that efforts are being made to build a new base alongside the one that already exists, there seemed to be a million things going through the students’ minds.
The weather cooperated while they were visiting, and after riding in a glass boat, they came back excited, telling us about the beautiful coral and the many fish they saw. Because the students live in a landlocked region in the U.S., they seemed to be all the more moved by the experience.
They interviewed us with care about why we go out on our canoes, and why we stage sit-ins in front of the gate of Camp Schwab.
The students seemed to be touched by the many banners that have been set to us in solidarity.
Do you see the direction in which the barbed wire atop the fence surrounding Camp Schwab faces? They face Okinawa. Can we trust that the U.S. will protect Okinawa when we need protection?
This, in spite of the ocean, the sky, and the beach all being connected.
In our broken English, we answered the students’ questions and tried to explain what we do.
It was a great opportunity for us to think once again about the military bases, about war, and about why we go out on our canoes.
Our hope is that the Okinawa these future journalists saw with their own eyes will be shared with as may people around the world as possible.
March 18, 2017
Original post (Japanese)
English translation by C.K.