On June 9th, the Japanese government resumed its illegal 'pre-survey' sea-bed construction work for a new U.S. military base at Henoko, in Okinawa. The work has been conducted for 20 days since May 20. The government's determination to proceed with this act in violation of the Environmental Impact Assessment Law is bad enough; that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's government would resume their work without a single word of explanation regarding damage the work has caused to living coral shows a social and environmental irresponsibility that is totally unacceptable.
According to Okinawa Times, in early morning on June 9 private working ships and alert ships hired by the Defense Facility Administration's Naha Bureau started their work under guard by the Japan Coast Guard's patrol boats and rubber rafts. The protesters that had kept their night vigil for the last weeks at Henoko beach quickly responded to this. However, their ships once again were stopped for an hour by the Coast Guard and were subjected to inspections as had happened in May.
The protesters in canoes dispersed at the work's marker buoys and, it was reported, at most of the points they succeeded in stopping the construction work with non-violent action, such scuba diving to the sea bed and laying their bodies across the work sites.
The same evening in Tokyo, a meeting room was flooded with more than 200 people who came to hear about the struggle against the base construction. One of the speakers was Tokushin Yamauchi, a peace activist and former Yomitan Village Chief. Yamauchi told the audience, "If an individual destroys the environment, it is the responsibility of the government to come and addresses it. This does not mean, however, that a government may destroy the environment themselves. Both the Japan-U.S. Security Pact and the Japan-U.S. Status-of-Forces Agreement were schemes made by human being. If human beings work seriously, schemes can be changed. Perhaps a single person cannot fight alone, but the fight begins with a single person."
It is being reported the construction work is ongoing at this moment, as are protests.
Please take action for Henkoko!
Regarding the illegality of the contruction-setting work by the Japanese government, see the following statement by WWF Japan.
Hikaru Kasahara (Asian Peace Alliance [APA] Japan)