2017: Seawall Construction on Oura Bay

Okinawa. Henoko. Camp Schwab. 
The Asia-Pacific Journal | Japan Focus,  Volume 15 | Issue 11 | Number 1 | Jun 01, 2017
Mit freundlicher Erlaubnis von Japan Focus.

Seawall Construction on Oura Bay: Internationalizing the Okinawa Struggle

Hideki Yoshikawa

The New Battle of Okinawa

On the morning of April 25, 2017, amidst continuing opposition, the Okinawa Defense Bureau began “construction of a seawall” in the area of Henoko-Oura Bay in Nago City, Okinawa.1 Many saw this as the real beginning of land reclamation work to build a U.S. military base there to replace the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma in Ginowan City.

Unlike the Bureau’s previous “construction work,” which involved drilling surveys and setting up of floats and buoys in the water to mark the “restricted area,” this time the Bureau’s “construction work” meant dropping off land reclamation material, bagged stones, on the north beach of Camp Schwab, in what is referred to as the “K-9 area.” The Japanese government plans to complete land reclamation of this area in the next five years.

Hiyane Teruo, professor emeritus of the University of the Ryukyus, commented that: “Reclaiming land in the sea off Henoko and building a new base is not mere construction. It is burying the will of the people of Okinawa and the history of pain and suffering of Uchinanchu (the people of Okinawa).”2

Okinawa Governor Onaga Takeshi condemned the start of seawall construction as “unforgivable and outrageous.”3 He insisted that “I will fight with all my power to keep my promise with the p e o p l e  o f  O k i n a w a  t o  s t o p  t h e  b a s e construction.” “I will use every means in a timely manner, including filing an injunction.” ...

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