Kantoku Teruya, ex-lawmaker from Okinawa, dies at 76

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Kantoku Teruya

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Kantoku Teruya, a former House of Representatives lawmaker from Okinawa Prefecture, who was active in tackling issues associated with U.S. military bases in the southernmost Japan prefecture, died of cancer at a hospital in the Okinawa town of Nishihara on Friday. He was 76.

Born on the Pacific island of Saipan, Teruya became a lawyer in Okinawa in 1972 and dealt with problems arising from U.S. bases, which are concentrated in the prefecture. In a lawsuit over noise damage from the U.S. Kadena Air Base, he joined a group of plaintiffs.

Teruya’s efforts to reduce Okinawa’s burden of hosting a number of U.S. bases and revise the Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement, which governs U.S. troops stationed in Japan, made him known as a leading expert in Okinawa issues.