Japan Press Weekly
[Advanced search]
Past issues
Special issues
Fact Box
Feature Articles
Mail to editor
Mail magazine
HOME  > Past issues  > 2013 March 20 - 26  > Gov’t submits request to reclaim sea area off Henoko
> List of Past issues
Bookmark and Share
2013 March 20 - 26 [US FORCES]

Gov’t submits request to reclaim sea area off Henoko

March 23, 2013
The Defense Ministry Okinawa Bureau on March 22 applied to Okinawa Prefecture for approval to reclaim the sea area off Henoko, the planned relocation site for the U.S. Marine Corps Futenma base.

Regarding the plan to move the Futenma base from Ginowan City to the Henoko district in Nago City, all 41 municipalities in Okinawa and the prefectural governor have officially expressed their opposition. However, at the Japan-U.S. summit meeting in February, Prime Minister Abe Shinzo promised President Barack Obama to submit application for the reclamation work in March associated with the construction of a new base.

Later on the same day, Japanese Communist Party members of the Okinawa Prefectural Assembly staged a protest in front of the prefectural government building. Toguchi Osamu in the action said, “This is outrageous behavior trampling on Okinawan’s consensus as heads and assembly chairpersons of all 41 municipalities, the governor, and the prefectural assembly are all opposing the relocation plan.”

Arakaki Shigenobu, representative of the Okinawa United Action Liaison Council against the Security Treaty, pointed out that the sea off Henoko is designated in Okinawa’s natural conservation guidelines as an area to be strictly protected. He added that the planned relocation site for the Futenma base covers an area of 100 hectares and that the reclamation of the sea area will not only kill the ocean population but also devastate the Yanbaru Forest of northern Okinawa, a candidate area as an UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site.

The Nature Conservation Association of Japan issued a protest statement saying that the offshore area of Henoko has a diverse ecosystem consisting of mangroves, coral reefs, and other fragile ecosystems, where endangered species of dugong inhabits. To prevent the sea animal from becoming extinct, the prefectural government should reject the application for the reclamation work, the association asserted.
> List of Past issues
  Copyright (c) Japan Press Service Co., Ltd. All right reserved