Arizona-based environmental organization makes statement against new US base construction in Okinawa

May 29, 2016 Ryukyu Shimpo

By Sakae Toiyama in Washington, D.C.

On May 26, Arizona-based environmental organization the Center for Biological Diversity issued a statement against the construction of a new U.S. base in Henoko in Nago, where the governments of Japan and the United States plan to move U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma from Ginowan. During U.S. president Barack Obama’s visit to Japan for the G-7 summit, the center called for the cancellation of the base’s construction in Henoko, which is rich in biodiversity. The statement said, “Our large and lingering military presence has enraged the Okinawan people and now it’s threatening the dugong with extinction.” The center further said, “The project is strongly opposed by residents of the island.” It referred to the recent murder of an Okinawan woman; “That opposition was galvanized by the recent murder of a young Okinawan woman, allegedly by a U.S. military contractor.” The statement went on to say, “President Obama should use his visit to Japan to abandon this controversial, ill-considered project.” In California, the center has been working on suing the U.S. Department of Defense to halt the new base construction in Henoko in order to protect dugongs.

(English translation by T&CT)

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