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普天間返還合意20年[6]辺野古に巨大基地建設 県は反発 Plans for Construction of Massive New Base at Henoko Okinawa oppose

2016年4月17日 20:33







Both the United States and Japanese governments sing the same song that the “only solution” for a return of MCAS Futenma is to relocate the facility to Henoko in Nago City, approximately 50 km away. The plan is to construct a V-shaped airfield with two runways on reclaimed land totaling 160ha, comprising the coastal and land areas of U.S. Marine Corps Camp Schwab.

Governor Takeshi Onaga and Nago City Mayor Susumu Inamine oppose this plan. One reason is that the “new base will be a more enhanced operation of MCAS Futenma” as it will include an ordnance assembly area, 271.8m berth for mooring ships, and fuel pier where tankers would be able to dock.

In addition, both Governor Onaga and Mayor Inamine have called attention to the fact that, still today 71 years after World War II, 74% of the area occupied by U.S. military facilities in Japan is concentrated in Okinawa, a prefecture which comprises no more than 0.6% of Japan’s total land area. Furthermore, a completion of this new expanded base will lead to a further entrenchment of this burden, making it permanent.

In July 2014, the Japanese government started work on the project. Full-scale reclamation work began in October 2015, but Governor Onaga revoked the approval necessary for land reclamation, so work was halted in March. Whether or not this revocation was lawful or unlawful is being contested in court and a third-party committee under the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications.

At sea and in front of the Camp Schwab gate, residents and others opposed to construction of the new base have continued to monitor and protest the relocation activities. So, the project has encountered trouble.

ジュゴンや希少な藻場にサンゴ群 多様な生態系育む海 Fertile Sea of the Dugong





The coastal area of Henoko, where MCAS Futenma is to be relocated, comprises the northern range of the Dugong habitat. Here, evidence has been found that the protected species feeds on seagrass meadows in the project execution zone and surrounding areas.

There are broad swaths of threatened species of seagrass, including the Syringodium isoetifolium, Cymodocea serrulata and Thalassia hemprichii. The area also contains distributions of Pseudodichotomosiphon constricta Yamada, which is indigenous to Japan. Mangroves create a diverse ecosystem where distinct coral communities have also been identified, such as Porites cylindrica and large communities of Blue coral.

Under the Okinawa Prefecture “Guidelines on Preservation of the Natural Environment” (1998), the Henoko sea area has been rated as Rank 1 zone, which signifies an “area where efforts must be made for strict conservation of the natural environment.”

There are also concerns that, after the airfield is completed, aircraft noise and low-frequency sound waves generated by the Osprey will lead to a deterioration of the living environment in the surrounding communities.

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