At present, a beautiful sea surrounding the Japanese island of Okinawa is being reclaimed.

At present, a beautiful sea surrounding the Japanese island of Okinawa is being reclaimed. The reason for attempting to reclaim the sea is to build a new U.S. military base. Currently, more than 70% of U.S. military facilities and areas (exclusive-use facilities) in Japan are concentrated in Okinawa Prefecture. The new U.S. military base that is being built will destroy endangered dugongs, coral reef, and other rare creatures that inhabit the sea. In addition, land reclamation of the sea has been enforced despite the fact that the voting in Okinawa's elections has shown opposition to building a new base in the past years, as well as the resistance of indigenous people.

The name of the sea where the landfill began in December 2018 is Henoko. The construction of the new base not only destroys the beautiful sea and its ecosystems, but also threatens the safety of U.S. soldiers, as it's built on soft ground. In addition, the U.S. government will have to continue paying a huge maintenance fee for the incomplete base.
Landfill progressed by only 1% last year due to persistent opposition by the Okinawan people. We can still stop the reclamation of the Henoko sea. Let’s not lose the chance to make a difference before it’s too late.

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Where is Okinawa located?

Okinawa is a historic island located south of Japan's main island, in the center of East Asia. Indigenous Ryukyuan people who live there carry on the tradition of the language called "Uchināguchi". The wildlife is also diverse. Surrounded by crystal clear ocean, there are rare creatures that live only in this area, including Iriomote cats and Okinawa rail (known as the "Yanbaru Kuina"). Okinawa has beautiful nature that does not exist elsewhere.

Okinawa is a geographically and strategically important location,

located at a distance of about 1.5 hours from Taipei in Taiwan, and about 2 hours from Shanghai in China. Since Okinawa is Asia's hub for trade and has a significant military position from the 15th centuries, the final battle of the World War II brought terrible disaster and distress to the region. Nevertheless, it has preserved its unique culture and nature to this day. Let us join the native people of this region in protecting a rich cultural and environmental legacy.

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History of Okinawa

In the past, Okinawa was a country called Ryukyu which was founded by Shō Hashi, a king who pulled the influential people of the region together in 1429. With Shuri Castle functioning as a base, Ryukyu was a trading country that actively traded with other Asian countries including China and Japan. Ryukyu’s history as an independent Kingdom extended for 450 years, until the nation was invaded by Satsuma in 1609, and was eventually annexed to the Empire of Japan in 1879.

During World War II,

Okinawa became the only battleground stage in Japan, and about 200,000 people, including 120,000 Okinawans, died. This battle was called the Battle of Okinawa. After the surrender of Japan, U.S. military rule began in Okinawa, and U.S. military bases were built one after another during US military’s 27 years of reign. Okinawa was returned to Japan in 1972, but contrary to the voice of the people of Okinawa, more bases were constructed while sacrificing Okinawa’s natural ecology.

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Who is Doing This to Okinawa?

The responsibility for this situation falls on both the Japanese and the U.S. governments. In Okinawa, the governors who were against the reclamation of Henoko were selected in 2014 and 2018, and 71.4% of residents indicated willingness to reclaim Henoko in a referendum in 2019.

Although Henoko is a land of Okinawa,

the new base will be built by Japan and used by the United States. Due to selecting the soft ground of the Henoko Sea for the establishment of the base, the estimated budget for construction has risen to 930 billion yen, and the estimate by Okinawa prefecture is expected to rise to 2,555 billion yen. Despite the dangers of building the base and the airstrip in this location, the Japanese government is spending heavily on taxes to complete the project. However, the base will be used not by Japanese citizens, but by the U.S. military, possibly including your family members. Moreover, the resource to maintain this base is the taxes of U.S. citizens.

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What Do We Do for Okinawa? / About Us

We have been engaged in the campaign advertising of the Okinawa Opinion in Japan for the past 10 years. We have made this issue more visible to the public, and appealed to people and the governments for their support. this issue and appealed to people and the governments. Kantoku Teruya and Yoichi Iha, members of the Diet from Okinawa, also support the Okinawa Opinion movement.

We have raised funds,

held gatherings in various locations throughout Japan, supported people in the cause of opposing the reclamation in Okinawa, and published campaign advertisements every year in nation-wide newspapers. We also published campaign advertisements in the New York Times in 2017. In 2020, the Okinawa Opinion is taking a new move by launching this English website to extend its 10 years activities to the English-speaking world. To stop land reclamation in the Henoko Sea, we need voices from Japan and abroad, including the United States.

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What Can You Do? / Contact and Donation

Thank you for reading the Okinawa Opinion. If you would like to support Okinawa, there are two ways to aid the prevention of the reclamation of the Henoko sea.
The first way to support our efforts is through making a donation. Your generous donations can enable us to strengthen the voice of Okinawa and support activities to prevent the reclamation of Henoko.
The second way to support our cause is to by sending messages to members of the United States Senate and House Armed Services Committees asking them to explain their continued refusal to respect the will of the Okinawan people, to live up to their own environmental responsibilities, and to act on behalf of their country's best interests, as well as its proudest traditions.

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Let's listen to the opinions of Okinawa, and bring power to the Okinawan people.