Onaga interviews Center for Biological Diversity personnel about U.S. dugong lawsuit with DoD

Onaga interviews Center for Biological Diversity personnel about U.S. dugong lawsuit with DoD

On March 11 in San Francisco, Governor Onaga discusses with Peter Galvin of the CBD about preventing construction of the Henoko base.


March 13, 2018 Ryukyu Shimpo

By Washington Special Correspondent Yukiyo Zaha


Governor of Okinawa Takeshi Onaga arrived in San Francisco, California on March 11 (local time).

There, he had an interview with Peter Galvin and Miyoko Sakashita of the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD), which is acting as a plaintiff in the Okinawa dugong lawsuit against the Department of Defense (DoD).

The plaintiffs are calling for a halt to construction of the new base in Henoko and arguing that construction will impact the dugong that live there, which are afforded natural monument status in Japan.

In his meeting with CBD, Onaga indicated the Okinawa Prefectural Government (OPG) as a stakeholder in this lawsuit, and confirmed that the OPG will be strengthening cooperation with the plaintiffs in order to prevent construction of the Henoko base.


As the DoD returns to U.S. district court for trial, it will consult with stakeholders as set forth under the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA).

Also, by the end of March the OPG and other stakeholders opposing the DoD will provide written statements.

After his interview with the CBD, Onaga expressed the viewpoint that the NHPA also applies to the actions of U.S. government agencies outside of the U.S., and voiced his expectation that this could be highly influential concerning the Henoko construction issue.

At the end of January, mayor of Nago City at the time Susumu Inamine stated his desire to declare Nago City’s opposition to Henoko relocation in U.S. court, since Nago City is a stakeholder in the lawsuit.

Inamine had sent a written request to the DoD and U.S. military asking for entrance into the temporarily restricted area in Henoko, which could aid him in discussions with the DoD and with impact assessments.


(English translation by T&CT and Erin Jones)


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