Onaga advises construction halt after endangered coral discovery at Henoko construction site

Onaga advises construction halt after endangered coral discovery at Henoko construction site

On October 2 at about 7:00 p.m. at the Prefectural Office, Governor Onaga announces his administrative guidance that construction be halted in light of the belated report of endangered coral discovered at the ocean construction site in Henoko, Nago City.


October 3, 2017 Ryukyu Shimpo


An endangered type of coral has been discovered at the ocean construction site of the replacement facility for Futenma Air Station in Henoko, Nago City.

On October 2 Governor of Okinawa Takeshi Onaga provided the Okinawa Defense Bureau (ODB) with a letter of administrative guidance inviting discussion between the ODB and the Okinawa Prefectural Government (OPG) about halting construction and taking measures to preserve this type of coral, despite the “imprudent” lack of a report on this discovery to the OPG.

Onaga took this opportunity to ask that the ODB promptly comply with the OPG’s request to be allowed U.S. base entrance to survey the situation.

In addition, Onaga demanded that the ODB engage in consultations on K9 embankment work, which were supposed to take place prior to construction.

However, Onaga’s administrative guidance is not legally binding.

Recently, the idea of using maritime transport for K9 embankment work was introduced as a means to reduce the environmental burden on land of hauling construction materials.

At a press conference also on October 2, Onaga criticized the ODB’s approach as “imprudent, and moreover dishonest.

” He said: “Those with the authority to ensure the efficacy of environmental conservation measures cannot simply stand by.

The Okinawa Defense Bureau’s approach is deeply insufficient in that it lacks perspective on environmental conservation, and prioritizes progress on construction work.”

Regarding the ODB’s plan to apply for special approval to harvest the endangered coral and transplant it elsewhere, Onaga said that he “intends to handle this matter strictly and appropriately.

” According to the OPG, it has never denied approval for harvesting.

In response to a question asking if the endangered coral or the potential change to the method of K9 embankment work will affect Onaga’s idea to revoke land reclamation approval, Onaga simply said that he is dealing with each matter separately.

Onaga explained why he submitted his administrative guidance within a week of the announcement that endangered coral was discovered at the construction site: “For reliable enforcement of environmental conservation measures, I thought it best to act quickly.”



(English translation by T&CT and Erin Jones)


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