Stop the installation of anchors at Oura Bay: 2,662 citizens sign petition to governor
February 12, 2015 Ryukyu Shimpo
In relation to the U.S Marine Corps Air Station relocation to Henoko in Nago City, 2,662 citizens handed in an urgent petition to Okinawa Governor Takeshi Onaga on February 10. The citizens asked the Okinawa Prefectural government to order the Okinawa Defense Bureau to stop the installation of anchors at Oura Bay. In the petition, they also demanded the governor request the bureau to submit a new application for rock reef destruction. Former Nago City council member Yasuhiro Miyagi started the petition on the Internet.
More than 2,000 people signed the petition within two days after Miyagi called for it on February 7. Having this many people sign the petition in such a short time reflects citizens’ frustration over the new base construction being forced through while the intellectual committee set up by the prefectural government is still examining the validity of the approval of the Henoko landfill.
In a request letter that accompanied the petition, they pointed out the installation of anchors is destroying reefs and rocks, and they urged the prefectural government to immediately ask the bureau to stop the landfill. The request further suggested a cancellation of the approval of rock reef destruction in case the bureau does not follow the request.
Miyagi and Professor Manabu Sato from Okinawa International University visited the prefectural government office in the afternoon of the same day to hand Tsutomu Akasaki of the department of Coastal Administration and Disaster Management the letter and petition. Miyagi made an appeal to the public; “The construction is being carried out while the prefectural government is still examining its legality. We are taking this issue very seriously.” Akasaki stated the prefectural government was considering questioning the bureau over a temporary dock. He said, “I will tell the governor and vice governors.”
Professor Sato stressed in the press release, “There is no meaning to the inquiry, if the main construction begins before the committee completes the examination. The governor must stop the situation with every authority he has.”
(English translation by T&CT and Sayaka Sakuma)
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