April 16, 2019
Dear Representative Ed Case,
Thank you for your response to my inquiry regarding Okinawa. Unfortunately, your response contained numerous errors. First of all, Governor Takeshi Onaga tragically passed away in August of 2018. Your reference to Governor Onaga in the present tense as still being alive is seen as highly disrespectful to the late governor, as well as to Okinawans and supporters worldwide. Okinawa has had a new governor, Denny Tamaki, since September. Second, your response did not actually address any of our inquiries, and was clearly a generic letter that your staff has sent to many people who have inquired about Okinawa. Thirdly, your public comment that you “feel like an Asian trapped in a white man’s body” has further fueled the notion that you are out of touch with most of your constituents.
Over 211,000 people have signed my petition asking for a halt to the construction of the new military base at Henoko, Okinawa. My team and I estimate that around 19,000 registered voters in Hawaii have signed the petition, the vast majority of whom reside in your district, are between the ages of 18-40, and vote democrat. We also have many elderly voters who did not sign the petition due to the requirements of needing internet access and an email address, but who are nevertheless supportive of our efforts. The Okinawan population of Hawaii is over 50,000. Additionally, many non-Okinawan voters, including Hawaiians, Japanese, Filipinos, Chinese, and whites, have supported us.
I visited your office yesterday in Washington D.C., and though your staff were polite, it was clear that they were not taking any legitimate interest in our issues. We have worked in-depth with quite a few Congressional offices, and can easily tell when an office is not taking our issue seriously. Whereas the offices of Senator Hirono, Senator Schatz, Representative Gabbard, and many others, have spent a great deal of time meeting with us and have seemed to take our concerns seriously, your office has not. Other offices have expressed interest in the immediate future of possibly writing a public letter to President Trump asking why he has broken his promise and has not replied to our petition, even though we got over 100,000 signatures in just 10 days.
The carelessness of you and your staff has caused much anger and resentment, and talks of large-scale social media campaigns to ensure you do not get re-elected are already underway.
We sincerely hope you will rethink your interactions with us.
The Peace For Okinawa Coalition