As requested by our friends in Okinawa, people in Gangjeong made pickets and took the photos to send our solidarity to our friends in Okinawa for the upcoming Full Moon Festival called Mangetsu Matsuri.
The Mangetsu Matsuri was started 14 years ago by Okinawan musicians and peace and environmental activists to voice their objection to the construction plan of a US military base in Henoko/Oura Bay. The area of Henoko/Oura Bay is one of the most biodiversity rich areas in Japan and it is also a critical habitat of the Okinawa dugong, an endangered marine mammal and a local symbol for abundance and Sea-God.
Over the years, the Mangetsu Matsuri has grown into one of the most exciting, heartwarming and thought-provoking local events in Okinawa, attracting musicians, performers, peace activists, environmentalists and citizens from all over Okinawa, mainland Japan and even from overseas.
Through performing, listening and dancing to music, under the moon, with the waves and the wind of Henoko/Oura Bay, the participants envision to create a peaceful world.
This years’ Mangetsu Matsuri has special meanings. The base construction plan in Henoko/Oura Bay is still on the table; the US military helipad construction in Takae in Yanbaru forest is now under way; the dangerous MV-22 Osprey aircrafts are now flying all over Okinawa, all despite the objection from the people of Okinawa. The organizing committee hopes to show that, with the festival, the people of Okinawa, along with peoples of the world, are determined to fight against these militarizing developments and to create a peaceful world.
The following is the solidarity message sent from Gangjeong to Okinawa.
Dear Friends in Okinawa,
Together, let’s stop the militarization of the Asia Pacific. We hear that dangerous MV-22 Ospreys fly all over Okinawa despite strong opposition by the majority of you. In Jeju, despite the majority of the islanders’ hopes for peace, destruction to build naval base is being done in the most pristine absolute preservation areas of Gangjeong Village. But let’s not give up. With our persistent efforts together, we can make the world different. Someday you will have a Full Moon Festival (Mangetsu Matsuri) with no war base. Let’s dream together of a peaceful world. Thanks for your solidarity, forever.
The Gangjeong Village International Team and the people of Gangjeong