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HOME  > Past issues  > 2015 July 8 - 14  > Okinawa to enact ordinance to regulate transport of landfill materials from outside prefecture
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2015 July 8 - 14 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Okinawa to enact ordinance to regulate transport of landfill materials from outside prefecture

July 8, 2015
A special committee of the Okinawa Prefectural Assembly on July 7 passed by a majority vote an ordinance bill to regulate the transport of landfill materials to the prefecture with the aim to conserve biodiversity and protect the natural environment.

This move was made in response to public concern about the environmental consequences of the Abe government’s plan to use reclamation materials produced outside the prefecture for the construction of a new U.S. base.

The central government plans to transport 1,700 cubic meters of rocks and sand from outside Okinawa to reclaim land off the Henoko district in Nago City for the base construction.

The draft ordinance will authorize the prefectural government to conduct an on-site inspection if materials used to reclaim publicly owned water areas are found to be contaminated by invasive species. It will also enable the governor to advise a stop to the transport of such materials to Okinawa.

The ordinance bill was submitted by five political parties, including the Japanese Communist Party, all of which support Okinawa Governor Onaga Takeshi in the assembly.

In a question-answer session prior to the vote in the committee, one prefectural government official said, “In order to conserve Okinawa’s tropical and subtropical biodiversity, this kind of ordinance is necessary,” and the other said, “If the ordinance bill is enacted, it will help drive down the risks associated with the introduction of invasive alien species.”

The ordinance will come into effect on November 1 after the assembly’s approval.

Past related articles:
> Local residents form group to protect their hometowns from having hand in supporting wars [June 1, 2015]
> Fishermen oppose carrying landfill materials to Henoko [November 30, 2014]
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