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Henoko: Call for urgent action

Henoko: Call for urgent action

Almost immediately after the victory of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party candidate in the by-election for an Upper House seat on April 22nd, the Japanese government started the process of building a military facility in Henoko with a determination.

On April 24th, the Japanese Defense Facilities Administration Agency (Naha Bureau) and the Japan Coast Guard began “pre-survey” of the Marine survey of the proposed area for the new military facility in Henoko. The Rev. Natsume Taira and others in Henoko have been staging non-violent action to protest and stop the survey, but the JDFAA ships and divers far outnumbered the protestors and their canoes and boats.

JDFAA characterizes this on-going “pre-survey” as an examination of the present conditions of the area with regard to coral reef, Dugong, and other marine life. But this procedure violates the environmental assessment law that stipulates disclosure of construction methods and examination of the adequacy of the methods before finalizing the construction methods. It is only after then, such environmental survey of present conditions can be conducted. As the items of this on-going “pre-survey” seem to include what actual environmental survey of present conditions is required to examine, the adequate procedure of full and appropriate environmental assessment may not be taken in the future. Conducting this “pre-survey” undermines environmental assessment itself. The Japanese government refused to disclose details of this “pre-survey.” Construction of the military facility in Henoko can be carried out without public scrutiny, ignoring democratic participation, and even the rights of the national Diet and Okinawa Prefectural Assembly to check. People in Henoko are mounting their protest actions very carefully because they do not want anyone, including those divers hired by the government, to be injured. But on the first day of the survey, the JDFAA forced to conduct observation survey under bad weather, endangering the safety of their divers. It shows the Japanese government’s disrespect of human lives.

Today, April 27th, it is reported that the JDFAA completed the observation survey. It is now anticipated that after a series of national holidays of Golden Week, on May 7th, they will start to install survey equipments in the area. This survey has to be stopped!
Please send your protest messages to Japan Defense Facility Administration Agency (Naha Bureau)
Fax number: +81-98-866-3375

Please send your support messages to people of Henoko.

Heiwa Shimin Renrakukai (Citizens Coalition for Peace, Naha, Okinawa)
Fax:+81-98-885 8230

Conference Opposing Heliport Construction (Nago, Okinawa)
Fax: +81-980-53-6992

Kozue Akibayashi

EA-US-Puerto Rico Women's Network Against Militarism (Japan)