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HOME  > Past issues  > 2007 May 16 - 22  > Government survey for new U.S. base construction destroys coral reefs
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2007 May 16 - 22 [US FORCES]

Government survey for new U.S. base construction destroys coral reefs

May 22, 2007
The government preliminary survey for constructing a new U.S. base in the sea off Okinawa’s Nago City has destroyed coral reefs, a local environmental group discovered.

Members of the Save the Dugong Foundation on May 21 urged the Naha Defense Facilities Administration Bureau to immediately halt the survey. The bureau director promised to check the coral reefs.

Higashionna Takuma, the secretary general of the environmental group, said a devise to monitor coral spawning was set on a living coral reef located two km from Henoko Beach, and a reinforcing steel bar to fix the device bored through the reef.

“The device was installed in the coral’s habitat. Anyone can see their spawning. The government must stop spending over 1 billion yen to conduct such an unnecessary survey that destroys the environment,” Higashionna said.

The representations to the bureau were made by the Okinawans’ Council against Relocation of U.S. bases within the Prefecture. About 30 members representing political parties and democratic organizations, including Japanese Communist Party Dietmember Akamine Seiken and Social Democratic Party Dietmember Teruya Kantoku, took part in the action.

They also lodged a protest against dispatching the Maritime Self-Defense Force minesweeper tender Bungo to the survey area, stating that this constitutes a blatant challenge to Okinawans because the government is pressuring the residents by using the survey assistance as an excuse in order to forcibly conduct the base construction.

On the same day in Tokyo, members of the Central Action Committee against the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty held a protest in front of the Defense Ministry calling for a halt to the survey. - Akahata, May 22, 2007
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