Gavan McCormack visits Henoko and Oura
July 2, 2014 Ryukyu Shimpo
On July 2, Gavan McCormack, who is a researcher of modern Japanese history and an emeritus professor of the Australia National University, visited Henoko in Nago. From a boat, he observed the sea around Henoko and Oura Bay, where the U.S. and Japanese governments plan to build a new base to replace Marine Corps Air Station Futenma.
McCormack took about two hours to survey the marine area, which is a feeding site of dugongs and has Porites tenuis, a type of coral that has been there for 400 years. Masako Suzuki, who is the representative of the Association to Protect the Northernmost Dugong, and Etsuko Urashima, who is a joint representative of the Association of the 10 Districts North of Futami Who Do Not Want a Base, explained the current situation to him.
McCormack said he never imagined the sea was so beautiful. He stressed that people must protect dugongs and nature. On July 1, the Japanese Government decided to change the interpretation of the Constitution to enable the nation to exercise its right to collective self-defense at a cabinet meeting. At the same time, the government started constructing the new military base in Henoko. Regarding this new development, McCormack stated that he had never witnessed such a critical situation in Henoko despite visiting there for 20 years.
(English translation by T&CT and Lima Tokumori)
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