Remember Konan's ace pitcher Yosuke Shimabukuro, who helped his team win the High School baseball tournament this weekend? Turns out he is a well known figure in Ginowan City, where U.S. Futenma Air Station is located, at the time of the 2004 USMC helicopter crash into the Okinawa International University campus. Peace Philosophy Centre, reading Okinawa newspapers, notes that he even held a speech at the Rally against the American military bases, and there is also a photo of him on the town's website:
Shimabukuro was a grade 6 student, and as a student leader, he spoke at the Ginowan Residents Rally, as representative of all elementary school students. The Rally was held on September 12, 2004, a month after the August 13 accident, and attended by more than 30,000 residents, one third of Ginowan City's residents (More rally photos from Ginowan City's website). Shimabukuro then called for a safer living environment for the residents.
Ginowan City website: One year after the crash, what should Okinawa do now? August 7, 2005 Symposium on Futenma Base Problems
See this previous post for more information and photos about the helicopter crash in the summer of 2004.
Peace Philosophy Center
It would be great to see an interview with Shimabukuro that asks some intelligent questions about his feelings not just as a young baseball player but also about how he feels about Okinawan issues today!