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HOME  > Past issues  > 2009 October 14 - 20  > JCP calls for cancellation of Awase reclamation project
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2009 October 14 - 20 [ENVIRONMENT]

JCP calls for cancellation of Awase reclamation project

October 17, 2009
The Japanese Communist Party Okinawa Prefecrural Assembly members’ group on October 16 demanded that the Okinawa prefectural government refrain from appealing against the decision made on the previous day at a high court ordering the cancellation of the reclamation works project of the Awase Tideland in Okinawa City.

JCP prefectural assembly member Kayo Sogi said, “Every time the assembly held its session, we criticized this project as a wasteful public-works scheme. However, even after the Naha District Court issued an order last year to stop using public funds for the project, the prefectural government has continued the reclamation. Yesterday, the Fukuoka High Court upheld the lower court decision and again ruled that the project is economically inviable and that the project should immediately be cancelled.”

In response, a prefectual government official in charge of the public works projects said, “We will examine the court decision and take into account both the national and Okianwa City governments’ intentions, and then will decide what to do.”

A supporters’ group of the Awase lawsuit and other environmental groups, including a citizen’s organization to protect Awase Tideland, came to Tokyo from Okinawa to request that land minister Maehara Seiji suspend the project and remove the already-constructed bulkhead from the mudflats.

They also called on the government to restore and preserve Awase Tideland as well as to register this wetland with the Ramsar Convention.

The Nature Conservation Society of Japan (NACS-J) also submitted to land minister Maehara a written request calling for the immediate cancellation of the project and a plan to bring back and conserve the nature of the wetland with citizens’ participation.

Pointing out that Awase Tideland is the largest seaweed bed in Okinawa, habitat for a variety of living things such as coral reefs, shellfish, crabs, and waterfowl, NACS-J criticized the reclamation works for running counter to the government claim of promoting the conservation of the environment and protection of biodiversity.

Meanwhile in the House of Councilors office building, plaintiffs of the Awase Tideland lawsuit and their supporters held a victory rally. Head of the plaintiffs’ group Maekawa Seiji said, “This victory opens a new vista of hope and adds impetus to the movement to stop wasteful public works projects. We can hand down the beauty of Awase Tideland to future generations.”
- Akahata, October 17, 2009
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