The protesters sing a song titled Give Us Back Okinawa
The night of January 10th, the Okinawa Defense Bureau suddenly restarted the construction work in Henoko. At 10PM the ODB deployed over 100 riot cops from the Okinawa State Police in order to protect their route to transport heavy machinery and building supplies into the Camp Schwab of the U.S. Marine Corps.
We condemn ODB’s sneak attack on the Okinawan people and their ongoing repressive measure to silence people through the use of police force.
The people are sitting, standing and blockading to delay the work, battling the cold wind and rain. People are on the ground and in the sea. Please support their efforts by spreading the word, emailing and calling the offices (list of numbers below).
If you can go to Henoko, HERE IS THE TRAVELING DIRECTIONS. Safe travels!
If you cannot be there, here’s a list of things you can do, via local group Project Disagree
ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!!
Okinawa Defense Bureau
Fax : (+81)-98-921-8168
Ministry of Defense, Japan
Cabinet Secretariat, Japan
US Embassy in Tokyo
Caroline Kennedy, US Ambassador to Japan
John McCain, Chairman of Senate Armed Services Committee
PROTECT OKINAWA’s SEA, FOREST and PEOPLE, NOT the BASES! STOP POLICE VIOLENCE AGAINST PEOPLE!
Okinawa State Police
Complains: (+81)-98-863-9110 (24hrs.)
“SUPPORT THE GOVERNOR: POSTCARD CAMPAIGN TO SAVE HENOKO & OURA BAY” is an ongoing grassroots campaign whereby Okinawans are sending postcards to Governor Nakaima to demonstrate their support for his goal to save Henoko & Oura Bay. This beautiful and beloved eco-region situated in a quiet part of northern Okinawa’s coastline is a thriving biodiverse habitat of Okinawa’s critically endangered dugongs and other unique (including newly discovered) marine wildlife. It is adjacent to the subtropical rainforest of Yanbaru .
Now is the final stage of Okinawa’s struggle for Henoko & Oura Bay. the US and Japanese governments are pushing forward their plan to construct a massive US military base there with force. Last March, Okinawa Defense Bureau (Japan Defense Ministry office in Okinawa) submitted to Okinawa prefecture their application for reclamation of the sea off Henoko, while all 41 municipalities in Okinawa and the Governor oppose the plan. The Abe administration is now putting strong pressure on the Governor, so we should support him. To express our support, we encourage you to write the Governor a postcard.
Please write him: “We support you ! “ “No More Bases ! ” “Save Henoko!” “Save Okinawa Dugong” “Stay strong”
Govenor Hirokazu Nakaima
Okinawa, 900-8570 Japan
When you write to him, please take a photo of your postcard and email it to okinawaor[at]gmail.com. We will upload it on our blog.
“The mountains and the sea are connected – No to the landfill.”
“Please take are of your health, save the sea of Henoko!”
“For the future generations”
Dear Friends Who Disagree,
I haven’t updated in a while – since the nuclear explosions in Fukushima, Japan. Today, the struggles in Okinawa continues and even seems to escalate from time to time, unfortunately. But our friends in Takae are on the ground protecting the line to stop the operation.
I have started sending fax to Okinawa Defense Bureau on weekly basis. Okinawa Defense Bureau is the governmental agency that contracts and operates Takae helipad construction under the direction of Japan’s Ministry of Defense. Despite continued resistance by means of non-violence by the people in Okinawa for over 5 years, the ODB continues to ignore the voices of the residents and forcibly constructing the helipad.
Faxing is very effective, say activists in Okinawa who have been untiringly updating me on-the-ground info about the construction. OK. Let’s fax our messages to ODB today.
I have an easy access to fax, so I’ll be your fax courier. Please send your message to whyusbasesinokinawa<at>gmail.com along with
1) your message (in doc, pdf, jpg…)
2) your name
3) email address
4) mailing address if you wish to receive ‘why us bases in okinawa?’ sticker (it’s cute and dugong)
I will be responsible to forward your message to Okinawa Defense Bureau. You’ll receive a confirmation email and a sticker if you desire.
Look forward to hearing from you.
Your WUSBIO pal
Photos from http://takae.ti-da.net/ (Report from Yanbaru Higashi-son, Takae)
Over 100 workers rushed in from 6am to bring bags of gravel into the planned sites. It was a surprise attack in the early morning, thus the number of protesters were fewer than usual. The Okinawa Defense Bureau (ODB) expanded the number of the crew, many younger workers are seen. The protesters say that the newly hired workers are being provocative to protesters and there seem to have been rough scenes between the two groups. This is one of the tragedies of the military expansion, that local Okinawans are often forced to be divided into two enemy groups.
This crisis in Takae needs attention from outside. Please take a moment to let the word out to your local media and your friends and people who care, and people who simply are not informed of this violence. Again, the situation in summery is: Japan Defense Ministry is forcing the construction of new US military helipads in the abundant forests of northern Okinawa. It is in the middle of the irreplaceable habitat area of many endangered species. Not only the plan never met with local residents’ consent, but some helipads are planned to be built very close to the residential area and schools. The local residents, along with their supporters, have continued their sit-in protest to stop the construction for nearly 4 years.
US-based NGO “Close The Base” released a statement regarding US military base in Okinawa (in English and Japanese). PLEASE CHECK THIS LINK because it’s very very informative, and please also spread the word. In any small way that you can do.
Forwarded from: Citizen’s Network for Biological Diversity in Okinawa
A great summery of the situation surrounding Takae since February 2011, and further background information on US bases in Okinawa.
Please utilize the contact list of authorities, including the local Okinawa Defense Bureau (ODB) that’s conducting the violent construction in Takae every day. A phone call to ODB I made recently suggested that they are becoming even more one-sided and stubborn defending themselves and criticizing the protesters. The representative that I spoke to clearly showed me his ignorance on the situation and indifference to the local residents; he insisted (as if he was preaching me who is from outside Okinawa) that he never had problems living next to the US base. He certainly lives and works in a safe noise-proof building.
Today’s NEO DADAKKO “NO USAGI”
Please spare a few minutes to do it. Easy!
all by Yukiko Harada
Please Join Us in Our Action for Preserving the Pristine Yanbaru Forest and People of Takae, Okinawa!Posted: 01/13/2011
(Forward from http://d.hatena.ne.jp/hansentoteikounofesta09/20110110)
Short quick version: SEND YOUR NAME/MESSAGE to: email@example.com
Please Join Us in Our Action for Preserving the Pristine Yanbaru Forest and People of Takae, Okinawa!
We invite you to join us in our protest at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo over the restart of the U.S. helipads construction in Takae, Higashi Village of Okinawa, and the destruction of the sit-in tent by a U.S. helicopter, either by sending us your message/request to the US Embassy by email by January 8, or physically joining our action on January 10 in Tokyo (see instruction at the bottom).
The Yambaru Forest is a habitat for endangered species such as Yambaru Kuina (Okinawan Rail) and Noguchi Gera (Okinawan Woodpecker). It is known internationally as a region rich in biodiversity. Takae, situated in Yambaru, is a small village of about 160 residents, including many who moved here for its pristine nature.
However, the U.S. Marine Corps has been using the Yambaru Forest for combat training. In 1957, th US military started using the area as “Northern Training Area” (Jungle Warfare Training Center), and currently there are 15 U.S. helicopter takeoff and landing zones (helipads) in Higashi Village. Residents of Takae have constantly suffered from the noise and the risk of helicopter crashes. To make matters worse, the Japanese and US governments decided to build 6 new helipads, surrounding the residential neighborhood of Takae.
Construction of new helipads will not only further endanger the livelihood and lives themselves of Takae residents, but also further destroy the precious environment with its wealth of species, forest and rivers. New military facilities also pave the way to the possibility of a new war. Residents of Takae have protested against the helipads construction for the above reasons. In 2006, we passed a resolution against the new helipads, and demanded of the relevant authorities that they review the construction plan. Takae residents and their supporters from across Japan and from around the world have continued to sit-in, monitoring the site and trying to persuade the government against the construction.
The Japanese and US governments, however, have not listened to the voices of opposition by the residents, and have not provided sincere explanation or proper opportunities for public hearing. The Japanese government even decided, all of a sudden, to prosecute some of the local protestors for obstructing traffic.
Just before dawn on December 22, 2010, at 6:30 AM, some 100 members of the Okinawa Defense Bureau, ignoring the ongoing court proceedings, barged into the site without warning to restart the helipad construction. On the next night, December 23rd, a US helicopter hovered only 15 meters above the sit-in tent, causing the tent to blow down. Such military exercise over a public road threatenｓ the safety of local residents. The Japanese and US governments are harming the people of Takae by forcing through the construction work without sufficient explanation or consent by local residents. Such an approach by the two governments is unacceptable.
Residents of the Henoko district in Nago City, where the Japanese and US governments plan to build a replacement base for MCAS Futenma, have also been sitting-in for over 2,400 days, in order to preserve their life and the beautiful ocean. We urge you also to say “NO” to the new base plan in Henoko.
Following our protest to the Ministry of Defense on December 22 and the December 26 demonstration in Shinjuku, “Save Takae/Okinawa – an urgent appeal and demonstration against construction of helipads,” we will go to the US Embassy in Tokyo and the Japanese Ministry of Defense on January 10 (Mon.), 2011, to protest. We would like to collect as many requests/demands as possible and deliver them to the US government. We accept both individual and organizational messages. Just one sentence message, such as “We do not need US helipads in the pristine forest” will suffice, or a longer message is welcome too. The Takae and Henoko issues are not just about war and military bases, but they are also about environmental preservation, biological diversity, and an alternative, “slow-life” lifestyle. Please express your message in your own words. Please follow the below instruction and send your message by January 8, 2011.
With our voices and with our actions, let us stop the helipad construction in Takae, and the base construction in Henoko. Let us bring a peaceful and fulfilling life to Takae and Henoko!
(The original document in Japanese is at: http://takae.ti-da.net/e3296164.html. Translated by Norimatsu Satoko and Gavan McCormack)
★Email your message/request to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please include in your email the following information:
– Name (for an individual) or name of your organization
– Your message/request (length is up to you)
Both Japanese and English messages will be accepted.
Deadline: January 8 (Sat.), 2011
★If you can physically join our action at the US Embassy, please meet us in front of Toranomon JT building, at 3 PM on January 10, 2011. (Take Exit 3 of Subway Ginza Line “Toranomon” station. Walk four minutes straight on Sotobori Street, towards Tameike Sanno). We particularly appreciate participation of people from US!
Address: Toranomon JT Building, 2-1, 2 chome, Toranomon, Minato-ku, Tokyo – see MAP here.