Free Documentary Screening Explores U.S. Military Presence in Okinawa

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TORRANCE — A free screening of the documentary “Henoko, Oura Bay: The Sea of Life”「いのちの海 辺野古 大浦湾」will be held on Saturday, June 29, at 2 p.m., in Torrance.

The purpose of this educational event is to raise awareness about the forced construction of a U.S. Marine Corps air station in Okinawa, which disproportionately hosts 70 percent of U.S. military bases in all of Japan.

Director Keifuku Janamoto thoroughly examines the U.S. military presence in Okinawa from many angles, from the environmental impact, to personal tragedies, to the connection to World War II’s Battle of Okinawa. The film also explores the political conflicts and protests throughout the years.

“[The area of construction] has the highest biodiversity in Oura Bay,” local researcher Shin Nishihira narrates over sweeping shots of the ocean. “Without any hesitation, construction has been imposed on this place described as being almost a national treasure. It’s not only unbearable, it’s totally shameful.”

Scenes of Okinawa’s picturesque nature and pristine marine life are contrasted with offshore military construction, aircraft accidents, and police suppression of peaceful protesters. Interviews with researchers and politicians are balanced with the perspectives of residents who are affected by the bases, providing much needed context and insight to this profoundly complicated issue.

“We won’t let them construct a base in Henoko’s sea,” local resident and protester Yoshi Shimabukuro exclaims. “I’m 92 years old, but I’ll keep at it. I’ll stick with it ’til I’m 100!”

The film is 1 hour and 12 minutes with English narration and Japanese interviews subtitled in English. The event will also feature a live performance.

Reservation is requested due to limited space. Visit bit.ly/seaoflifetorrance or email [email protected] The screening will take place at Fruit of the Spirit Lutheran Church/Christ the King Lutheran Church, 2706 W. 182nd St., Torrance (this is a non-religious event). The parking lot and entrance are located in the rear.

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