Dugong-chan
a message from Henoko
A message from Save Life Society, society for protection of all lives and livelihoods, Henoko, Okinawa, Japan

beauty of Henoko seaday break for the frontOkinawan flower getto, moonpeach

"Save Life Society"@was formed by the elders mostly in their 80's and 90's to prevent construction of the monstrous air base, which will be offered to the U.S. Marine Corps based on Japan U.S. Peace Treaty, in the coral sea of Henoko, Nago, Okinawa, Japan. The air base has allegedly been planned by the Japanese and US governments. We, therefore, set up a sit-in camp in front of the fishing port of Henoko in 1996 in order to be prepared for any future development of the controversial project.

On April 19, 2004, Naha Defense Facilities Administration Bureau tried to start a drilling survey of the construction site prior to the environmental assessment as required by the Japanese law. Nevertheless, 52.85% of the citizens of Nago said "no" to the plan in the referendum conducted in Dec. 1997. The survey itself is said to possibly threaten the lives of the endangered spices, particularly, Dugong as the intended construction site is the largest sea-grass bed in Okinawa where Dugong find sea grasses that they feed on.

At this present moment, Henoko is very alert as the government agency is looking for any chance to build or place platforms to start drilling as they have been prevented to proceed with the work since September 9th last year. Every day, we feel tomorrow would be a crucial moment. Thanks to Ojih and Obah (honorary terms for elders in Okinawa) who struggled for years, during which 6 elders passed away without seeing result of their resistance, from the prejudiced selection of the site for the air base, the activities to stop the construction of air base still continues involving far greater number of people who love peace and nature from all over Japan and many of them are even from abroad. In that effort, we have not allowed the government agency to drive even a single pile into the bottom of the sea at all.@But the officers still say they would proceed with the plan unless the government decides otherwise.

Dugong-chan

"Many people in the relevant government offices have never seen this sea before. The military base is no use in the present days considering the value of the precious sea and the marine lives making their habitat there that we are about to lose by the landfill. If we ponder seriously what we really need for the future, there is no benefit gained from reclaiming this sea. Since we have started sit-in, 6 members passed away without seeing result of the resistance. For those who left their hopes behind, I am ready to die to stop the construction," says Kinjyo Yuji (deceised in 2007), the representative. "I have been living with this sea for over 90 years. When the War (the battle of Okinawa) was over, there was nothing left to eat except the gifts of this sea. Thanks to this rich sea, I could feed and take care of my children. If you insist on building the base, kill me before you do so," says Shimabukuro Yoshi 92, the oldest member of the group.

We cannot live with a military base. Although we feel pains in our backs or legs, we will keep fighting for the future when we don't see any bases or any other causes of wars. We would like to restore peace as that is our concrete objective and determination. Whatever the difficulty is to occur, we would stop the construction of the base through our definite policy of non-violent and disobedience resistance. Thus please help us and gather your voice to the US government and the Congress to stop the construction of the base in Japan. Also please write to the US District Court, California Oakland Division where we have filed a lawsuit against Mr. Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense to get an injunction issued to stop the construction in view of protection of Dugong. That is our only chance to avoid involvement of the U.S. Government in this notorious project.

You are also more than welcome to join the sit-ins in Henoko. Access and accommodation

To confront Naha Defense Bureau at sea, it is neccessary to charter motor boats. Donation is needed.

A message from Tokyo members "No base in Henoko or anywhere else. No arms can make peace."

Please see more details below links

New link
January 24,2008
Federal Judge Rules Against U.S. Defense Department Plans for Airbase in Habitat of Okinawa Dugong
Although such rules were judged, Japanese Government's plan to destroy endangered spices Dugong's remaining seabed of Okinawa Coral Sea has not been changed. Okinawa citizens as well as volunteers all over the Japan have been fighting to stop the plan but still The US and Japanese Government continues the plans. Your urgent collective actions are needed to save endangered species Dugong!!! Not only Whales but also Dugongs are killed by Japanese Government.
http://www.earthjustice.org/news/press/2008/federal-judge-rules-against-us-defense-department-plans-for-airbase-in-habitat-of-okinawa-dugong.html

Okinawa Peace Fighters
Listen the voice of Okinawans living in the US.
http://okinawa.peacefighters.org/index.php
Press release, US & JAPANESE CONSERVATION GROUPS JOIN IN LEGAL EFFORT TO SAVE OKINAWA DUGONG FROM EXTINCTION Lawsuit filed to halt US airbase construction in ocean waters off Okinawa, Japan,that would destroy the habitat of endangered dugong (seacow) against the US Department of Defense http://homepage3.nifty.com/sizennokenri/Dugong/DUG030926prE.html
'HISTORIC' ACT MAY KEEP SEA CREATURE FROM BEING HISTORY Okinawan short history is depicted and you will see the reason why this island is called 'Cold War Island'
http://www.mongabay.com/external/okinawa_dugong.htm
Association to Protect Northernmost Dugong http://sea-dugong.org/english/
Greenpeace Japan, Save the Dugong in Okinawa Cyberaction SAVE the Dugong, Stop the Air-Base is on.
Daily updated Blog from Henoko is linked.
http://www.greenpeace.or.jp/campaign/oceans/dugong/en/
An article from Stars and Stripes, Camp Schwab survey delayed by a dugong At home page you can search more Okinawan updated news. It's quite useful, though.
http://www.stripes.com/article.asp?section=104&article=60810&archive=true
Tierramerica, Global Alert to Save the dugong
http://www.tierramerica.net/english/2002/0317/iarticulo.shtml
Peace and Environment Movements Coming Together on the Henoko U.S. Base Issue by YUI Akiko A map of US Military bases in Okinawa is available here
Okinawa carries 75% of all the U.S. bases in Japan while it accounts for only 0.6% of Japan's land.
http://rspas.anu.edu.au/asiarightsjournal/background_Okinawa.htm
fighters for peace poem ypoem leftzWhen the Okinawa War was ended in 1945, mountains as well as villages were burned and pigs, cows and horses were burned. Everything on the land were completely burned out. Anything which we could eat was blessed gift from the sea. Repay Mother Nature for her favor is not to destroy the sea. By Uminchu (Fisherman in Okinawan) Yoshikatsu Yamashiro divers of defence agency hope of sit-inners

Updated June 26, 2008
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