I came here from Okinawa, the island of the biggest US base in the Far East Asia. Thank you very much for granting this precious opportunity of greeting you. First of all I would like to praise and thank you, the people of Ecuador, for your marvelous contribution of preparing and successfully holding this international conference. I have distributed among you some of our historical documents on Okinawan people and the US bases in Okinawa. At present I am waging our struggle as a representative of "The Conference Opposing Heliport Construction" which takes the charge of preventing the construction of a new military airport for the US Marines. In 1996 the Japanese and the US Governments agreed to remove the Hutenma Air base, the most dangerous airport in the world. And they planned to relocate it by forcibly constructing a new off-shore heliport with a 1500m runway in the sea area of Henoko, Nago City. Then we, citizens of Nago City, organized the Conference Opposing Heliport Construction as a united civil organization and rejected this off-shore heliport by successfully concluding a referendum stressing that any important decisions must be done in consensus by all the citizens. But the Japanese Government, totally neglecting this referendum, constantly tried to construct a giant off-shore air base with a 2600m runway. Aged people in Henoko declared, "We must prevent this plan by our lives" and since then have been sitting there in a small struggle house for 10 years. In April, 2004, the two Governments of Japan and the US actually started the construction of this giant off-shore air base. Our consistent activity against the construction on land and in the sea without violence made them abandon the construction of this giant off-shore base. But our struggle did not come to the end.
The Japanese Government again put forward a new base with two 1800m runways in the US Marines base and in the sea to strengthen the Japan-US military alliance. The new base will be composed of a military seaport, ammunition dumps, and a drill site. Thus it will function as a "devil's fortress and assault base", a threatening base toward Asia and the world, and it will be used by both Japanese forces and the US troops. We refuse to be either a victim or a assailant. So we are determined to achieve another victory in this struggle. The task destined to me is to deal with the problems of the US military bases and environment. I retired from a high school as a teacher in April, 2004. At school I had always taught my students that the humankind living in the 21st Century is to build an earth based on (1) the unity for constructing peace and (2) preservation of the earth and maintaining multitude of the life. Okinawa islands constitute a special natural formation rich in its multitude of the life as a complex of the tropical and subtropical zones with wood forests of shining leaves. The islands are surrounded with coral reefs and lagoons. What symbolize the sea are dugongs and turtles like in the photo. Forests which are natural partners of the sea are also abundant in rare species. So this area is called a "Galapagos in the Orient". The area is nominated as a candidate for the Natural heritage of the World, but the existence of the US bases is the true obstacle for its official registration. Symbols of the rare species in the forests are rare birds of "yanbarukuina (Gallirallus okinawae)", "noguchigera (Sapheopipo noguchii)", and others. The construction of the devil's fortress base will not fail in destroying this ecosystem. IUCN has twice advised the Japanese Government to protect dugongs and "noguchigera" and to establish preservation areas for them, but has been neglected. "The Center for Multitude of the Life" an NGO in the US is raising the case before the justice in the name of a suit of "rights for the nature". President Bush and Prime Minister Abe are both enemies to the earth. We have prepared CDs for you to protect dugongs and "noguchigera". Now I can present you with CDs like this.
We are going to prevent the construction of this new base from the view point of the culture of peace and of preservation of the multitude of the life.
Now world people against foreign military bases have been united here. And this Conference in Ecuador is providing new courage and a new weapon to us.
エクアドルビラ草稿 裏 沖縄県民は米軍再編成 悪魔の要塞基地を拒否する 在日米軍専用基地７５％が集中する沖縄 安保条約の下で、沖縄には在日米軍専用基地の７５％（米軍基地３４施設）が集中することになります。米軍の事故・事件は米軍植民地時代と変わらず、軍事演習は激化、アメリカ追従の日本政府は沖縄を政治的に差別する。 事件・事故統計概要 1995年9月、米海兵隊３人による少女暴行事件が起り、沖縄県民の積もり積もった怒りが爆発、大規模な県民大会に発展する。日米政府は沖縄県民の怒りを抑えるために世界一危険な海兵隊航空基地普天間返還を発表した。しかし、県民の負担軽減と抑止力の名目で基地機能の強化と永久基地建設が狙いで、沖縄県内名護市辺野古海域への移設が条件であった。 写真、CDより 名護市民は 住民自治と非暴力の闘いで２度勝利する 1997年12月21日、名護市民は市民の共闘組織「ヘリ基地反対協議会」を結成、「大切なことはみんなで決めよう」のスローガンで市民投票を成功させ普天間辺野古移設を拒否する。沖縄県民も名護市辺野古への新基地建設を許さないために「基地に県内移設に反対する協議会」を結成、国民的闘いに発展する。 しかし、日米政府はサンゴとラグーンを埋め立てる巨大軍事空港（２７００M）を押し付けてきた。日本国民は名護市民を中心に完全非暴力の阻止闘争と国内外の世論を結合させた闘いで廃案にさせる。名護市民は２度目の勝利を実現、「ヘリ基地反対協議」は完全非暴力を貫き、米軍再編成に闘う日本全国の重要な役割を担っている。 （10年間の闘いのCD（英文）を各国の代表にさし上げます） 写真、軍民共用とV型 日米同盟の暴走を許すな 「悪魔の要塞基地」を阻止するために 安倍内閣は日米同盟の強化のために、日本の平和憲法を改悪して、自衛隊が米軍とともに戦争ができる国を目指しています。日米政府は米軍再編成の名で、今度は、「悪魔の要塞基地」を押し付けてきました。 写真シュワブの役割とサンゴ 基地建設予定地の森と海は「東洋のガラパゴス」よばれ、森では新しい希少生物が発見され、海にはウミガメ、ジュゴンが棲み、希少生物の宝庫です。私たちは3度目の勝利を目指す戦略を持っています。その一つは、米軍基地と闘うアジアの友人はもちろん、世界の人々と手をとり連帯と共同を広げることです。私たちの闘いには韓国の平和団体、グリンピース、アメリカ生物多様性センターはじめ多くの国の人々が参加しました。英国BBCはじめ韓国、ベルギーなど国外メディアも取材しています。世界は一つと全世界が共同と連帯を、エクアドル人民に心から感謝します。 （沖縄は日米政府の軍事植民地ではない。アメリカの新自由主義と覇権主義反対） ヘリ基地反対協議会代表委員 大西照雄 エクアドルビラ その２ ＷＷＦＪ 声明文 英語版 スペイン語版省略 Statement against the Construction of the Futenma Replacement Facility in the Habitat of the Threatened Okinawan Dugongs
May 12, 2006
On May 1, 2006, the Governments of Japan and the United States jointly issued the document, “United States-Japan Roadmap for Realignment Implementation.” The document contained a new plan (the New Coastal Plan) to construct the Futenma Replacement Facility (FRF), which includes two runways, in the coastal area of Camp Schwab in Nago City, Okinawa. The coastal area of Camp Schwab encompasses the waters of Henoko and Oura Bay, which are critical habitats for the Okinawan dugongs. The construction and subsequent utilization of the FRF, if carried out, will have tremendous impacts on the dugongs and their habitat, potentially driving the dugongs to extinction.
In Japan, the dugongs primarily live on the eastern coast of Okinawa Island. Their area of distribution is limited; their population is extremely small and isolated; they are “threatened to extinction.” WWF Japan therefore strongly opposes the construction of the FRF in the said area and urges the Governments of Japan and the United State to withdraw the New Coastal Plan. WWF Japan also urges the Government of Japan to draw up an action plan and establish a protected area for the conservation of the dugongs in accordance with the IUCN recommendations adopted in Amman in 2000 and in Bangkok in 2004.
It is clear that the attempts by the Government of Japan to construct the FRF in the habitat of the dugongs have failed to materialize due to the strong opposition and dedicated protests by local people and environmental groups all over the world.
In 1996, the Governments of Japan and the US agreed upon the plan to construct the FRF in the Henoko area in order to relocate the Futenma Air Station, the “most dangerous military airport in the world” from the densely populated center of Ginowan City. In 1997, the Government of Japan proposed the construction of a “Sea-Based Facility (SBF) (1500m x 700m) off the shore of Henoko. The SBF was to be constructed by using either the Pontoon Type method or the Pile Supported Pier Type method. In December 1997, this plan was opposed by the people of Nago City through a citizens’ referendum, and it was also later rejected by then Governor of Okinawa.
In July 2000, the Government of Japan proposed another construction plan; the construction of a “Military-Civilian Airport” (2500m x 730m) off the shore of Henoko. This plan required massive landfill atop the coral reefs and the seagrass beds. This plan has also been strongly opposed by local and non-local people including those who have engaged in sit-in protests and by environmental groups whose international efforts include those of the IUCN recommendations. As a result, this plan has virtually been halted.
In October 2005, the Governments of Japan and the US began presenting alternative construction plans for the FRF in the coastal area of Camp Schwab. In April 2006, Mayor of Nago City agreed upon the New Coastal Plan, which includes the construction of two 1800m runways, proposed by the Japan Defense Agency. The New Coastal Plan was then incorporated into the “United States-Japan Roadmap for Realignment Implementation” presented on May 1, 2006. According to recent public polls conducted by both Okinawa Times and Ryukyu Shimpo, however, about 70% of the people of Okinawa are against the New Coastal Plan.
The New Coastal Plan requires landfilling of both the coral reef shallows in the waters of Henoko and the seafloor slopes in Oura Bay. To start with, environmental impact assessment will be conducted for 3 years, and then the proceeding landfilling will take 5 years. The completion of the construction of the FRF is set for 2014. After the construction of the FRF, military training exercises using helicopters, vertical/short takeoff and landing air-craft Ospreys, and fixed-wing aircrafts will be conducted from the FRF. Moreover, it has been noted that there is the possibility of the construction of a pier for military ships in conjuncture with the FRF in Oura Bay. If the New Coastal Plan is carried out, direct threats from the construction of the FRF and subsequent threats from military training with aircrafts and movements of ships will be insistently imposed upon the environment and the dugongs.
The waters of Henoko are characterized by their coral reef shallows. The shallows are an important habitat for seagrass and “dugong trenches” have been found in the seagrass beds. Landfilling of the shallows means the destruction of the seagrass beds and the feeding grounds for the dugongs. Changes in local currents created by such landfilling will impose negative impacts on the seagrass beds and the coral reefs.
Oura Bay is characterized by its varying depths of water and its diverse underwater topography including coral reefs, seagrass beds, sand deposit, and mud deposits. Oura Bay provides an excellent and unique habitat for many marine spices and is an important site for local fishery. Developed coral reefs lie at the mouth of Oura Bay and the local current flows between Oura Bay and Henoko through the underwater trenches. The New Coastal Plan requires landfilling of a large portion of these underwater trenches, which will cause changes in the current and subsequently changes in the movement and deposition of sediments. These changes will accumulatively impose negative impacts on the seagrass beds and coral reefs. The entire area of Oura Bay will certainly be affected by the extent of these impacts.
When and if the FRF is constructed in the said area, military training exercises will be conducted from the FRF. Noise from the operation of military aircrafts may create additional stress for the dugongs. Pollutants from the FRF may be discharge into the sea, exacerbating the environment. The deterioration of their habitat and additional stress from the utilization of the FRF will potentially threaten the future of the dugongs in Japan.
It is imperative that both scientific and objective environmental impact assessment (EIA) is conducted to assess the impacts on the dugongs and the environment from the construction and utilization of the FRF. Unfortunately, the present Japanese system of EIA does not require the plan to include a zero option (no construction alternative). It also lacks logic and ethic. It is in fact a mere process of giving permission for the plan to proceed. It is therefore difficult to expect meaningful outcomes from the present Japanese system of EIA.
Considering the points stated above, WWF Japan strongly opposes the construction of the FRF in the coastal area of Camp Schwab, which encompasses the waters of Henoko and Oura Bay. WWF Japan urges the Governments of Japan and the US to withdraw the New Coastal Plan. WWF Japan also urges the Government of Japan to draw up an action plan and establish a protected area for the conservation of the dugongs in accordance with the IUCN recommendations.
For further information, please contact: Shin-ichi Hanawa Senior Officer Conservation WWF Japan 3-1-14 Shiba Minato-Ku, Tokyo Japan 105-0014 TEL.03-3769-1713 FAX.03-3769-1717 firstname.lastname@example.org