October 13, 2015

Today, Okinawa Governor Onaga Takeshi revoked the approval of land reclamation in Henoko as part of the relocation of MCAS Futenma to Nago City.

Friends of the Earth Japan submitted a joint statement to the Government of Japan with signatories of 194 NGOs/CSOs and 6,423 citizens to support his decision and demand that the Japanese government stop the
construction of a new base there.

Joint Statement: We support Okinawa Governor Onaga’s Decision to Revoke the Approval of Land Reclamation in Henoko:

The Japanese Government Must Take the Public Opinion in Okinawa Seriously

Today, Okinawa Governor Onaga Takeshi revoked the approval of land reclamation in Henoko as part of the relocation of MCAS Futenma to Nago City. We support his decision and demand that the Japanese government stop the construction of a new base there.

In the gubernatorial election in November 2014, Mr. Onaga ran on the campaign promise to stop the construction of a base in Henoko, soundly defeating the incumbent governor Nakaima Hirokazu by a margin of 100,000 votes. In fact, previous elections, the prefectural and municipal councils, and actions of citizens in Okinawa clearly and repeatedly expressed the public opinion opposing the base construction (see Appendix). The Japanese government should not ignore the overwhelming opposition among Okinawa residents.

Governor Onaga carefully deliberated on the revocation by consulting with an independent review committee. After considering the reclamation approval, the committee found four problems with its legality: (1) the “necessity of reclamation” is not demonstrated; (2) the condition of “appropriate and rational use of the land” is not met, i.e. benefits of the land use are not demonstrated to exceed costs; (3) environmental impact assessment and conservation measures are inadequate; and (4) the approved reclamation contradicts legally-binding prefectural policies, such as “Okinawa Biodiversity Strategy” and Ryukyu Islands Coastline Preservation Basic Plan.

Ecosystems and biodiversity are valuable properties for humankind. They are also foundations for the local community to envision its future. Local residents therefore have the rights to participate in the process of deciding how to use natural resources and balance development with environmental conservation.

Moreover, the Aichi Targets adopted at the 2010 10th Conference of Parties (including Japan as a signatory) define the conservation of vulnerable ecosystems, especially coral reefs, and endangered species as an important goal. According to the international targets, Henoko and Oura Bay qualifies as a “high conservation value” ecosystem since it hosts more than 5,300 species, including 262 endangered ones.

In response to the governor’s plan to revoke the approval of reclamation, the Japanese government is expected to file a request for administrative grievance hearings according to Article 255.2 of the Act on Local Autonomy. But this article is meant to protect rights of citizens against the exercise of undue power by the government. Such a request by the national government against the prefecture in a weaker position will contradict the spirit of law and democracy.

We thereby demand that the Japanese government accept the governor’s plan to revoke the reclamation approval in light of the public opinion in Okinawa, not file a request for administrative grievance hearings, and stop the construction of a new base, for the sake of protecting the invaluable biodiversity in Henoko and Oura Bay.

Appendix: A Timeline of Okinawa Residents*; Responses to the Construction of a Base in Hekono

Dec 1997: Referendum on the construction of an offshore heliport in Nago (54% opposed)

Jan 2010: In the Nago City mayoral election, Susumu Inamine was elected on a campaign promise not to allow the construction of a new based either on sea or land in Henoko

Feb 2010: Okinawa Prefectural Assembly unanimously passed its bipartisan public statement calling for the relocation of MCAS Futenma out of Okinawa Prefecture or out of Japan

Nov 2010: Okinawa Governor Hirokazu Nakaima was reelected on a campaign pledge calling for the relocation of MCAS Futenma out of Okinawa Prefecture

Jan 2013: Leaders of all 41 Okinawan municipalities and representatives of Okinawa Citizens’ Rally delivered the petition to Prime Minister Abe Shinzo, urging the cancellation of the MV-22 Osprey deployment and the relocation plan of MCAS Futenma within Okinawa Prefecture

Dec 2013: Governor Nakamine approved the landfill permit

Jan 2014: Nago Mayor Inamine was reelected

Aug 2014: Okinawa Defense Bureau began underwater boring

Nov 2014: In the gubernatorial election, Takeshi Onaga was elected on a campaign promise not to allow the construction of a new base in Henoko, defeating the incumbent Nakamine by a margin of 100,000 votes

Dec 2014: In the general election, All Okinawa, the political party opposing the construction of a new base in Hekone, defeated the ruling Liberal Democratic Party

Jan 2015: The government placed floats in the “emergency restricted area,” destroying 2-45 tons of coral reefs outside of the area where crushing was permitted


(Source: Issues of US Military Bases and Relocation of Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Futenma to Henoko, Nago City, http://www.city.nago.okinawa.jp/9/8048.html)

Translated by Hiro Saito

Signatories
Friends of the Earth Japan
Ramsar Network Japan
The Nature Conservation Society of Japan
Greenpeace Japan
Peace Boat
Citizens against military bases in Churaumi and in Yanbaru
Henoko Relay
Henoko heno kichikensetsuwo yurusanai jikkoiinkai
Peace News
Citizens' Council to Reform Public Works
Mishima Shinwo Mamoukai
Green Harmony Japan
KORIYAMA RAKUSYOUMURA
North east Asia Information Center Hiroshima
the Osaka Association for military base free peaceful Okinawa
Peace-Link Hiroshima-kure-iwakuni
heiwakennpou wo mamoru arakawanokai
Kazasimo Fukusima
FBkenpokyujyonokai
KAFTI
Save the Earth ! Action97
Alternatives
Sumiko Seki
soratomo
Peace Learning Group in Kamakura
From Earth & Cafe Ohana
The Voice of Gifu Citizens for saving Peace, Human rights and Environment
The Association for Protect the Shiraho Coral Reef
Campaign for Nuclear-free Japan
nakusou hamaokagenpatu tenryunokai
Henoko-Takae Project
The Association to Protect the Northernmost Dugong
No Nukes Asia Forum Japan
Ponte fra Italia e Giappone - TomoAmici
Meijigakuin University
Sustainable 21
Green Action Saitama
hashimoto kenhachirou
Japan Bear & Forest Society
Yasukunisanpaiiken "fukuokahanketsu" oikasukai
Bookyotohishennokai Fukuoka
kanagawaheiwakennpouwomamorukai
toki wo mitsumeru kai
yokohamananbu9jounokai
Wind of Citizens toward Uniting for Peace
Antinuclear power movement in shimanto
GROUP-MIRAI
sakeshiminkyodojimusho
joan-kawasaki
senior workers coop sendai
Miyazaki group to protect nature and future
shinkyoukennsetukougyouoosaka
Peace Constitution League
nuchidutakara.aichi
kenju no kai
Iruka & Kujira(Dolphin & Whale) Action Network
crossroads_kamakura
The Struggle Committee Against TOKUYAMA DAM
Article 9 Association OGAKI
senniniinkai totsuka.sakae.izumi
heiwawotukuruyamatosiminnnokai
DAYS JAPAN Supporters Club Nagoya
Greens Japan Kyoto Branch
Greens Japan
KOBE Peace i-Network
himituhogohoukanngaerukawasakishiminokai
aoisoranokai
Biodiversity Information Box
Takagi School
Panel for Nuclear Education
Nihonkirisutokyoudankanagawakyoukukotobukitikucenter
oosakaaigawanochisuiokangaeruryuuikirenrakukai
Article 9 Association Tokyo established by workers
dousuiroha iranai ! aitinokai
The Community of Yamaguchi-city people to accomplish the Constitution of Japan
Ootagawa-dam study group
Kodomo no mirai wo tanoshikusurukai hanno
genpatuiran!yamaguti network
suounadanosizenwomamorukai
NIPPONZANMYOHOJI
The Peace and Nuclear Issues Committee of the National Christian Council in Japan (NCCJ)
Japan Covil Network for United Nations Decade on Biodiversity
POREPORE SAKURA
FREE SCHOOL ISHINOMAKI TERAKOYA
kanagawaken roudoukumiai kyoutoukaigi
citizn-conscious community
Association of A-bomb survivers' children
Association of concerned citizens for Yamba Dam Project
Fukushima Cultural Support Network.
Friends of lake Biwa
9nohi-standing-chigasaki
No Nukes Chigasaki
ATTAC Kyoto
sanpachichihouroudoukumiaisourengou
hibakuiryou wo kangaerukai kagoshima
SuieiNPO
Agenda Project
Allen Nelson Peace Project
Greenpeace Japan
Meeting to talk about the future of the new Hiroshima
Eastern Saitama Hyakunin committee
Nakano Koujyou-iinkai
Nakanono kyouikuokangaeru kusanonenokai
Nerima Koinonia
Workers' Executive Committee For Anti-nuclear Power Movements
Little Hands
Dugong Network Okinawa
Japan Wetland Action Networ
JAPAN UNION FOR NATURE CONSERVATION
Noto Genpatu Bousai Kenkyu kai
okinawakouryurentaiiinnkai
nerima9jounokai
Stop! Henoko Sinkiti kensetu! Osaka Action
anti-war-network
Henokoni kitio zettai tukurasenai Osaka Kodo
Yamato-Koriyama Peace Committee,Nara
utukushiinishikigawawomiraihetewatasukai
akita kenpoukyujou "sekaihemiraihe" renrakukai
NPO Aoitori
Solidarity with the rage of Uchinanchu - Santama Citizen's Association
Hinoshi no ima to mirai wo kangaeru kai
Osprey no Yokota kichi heno haibi ni hantaisuru kai
Syndicat du personnel administratif de l'Institut franco-japonais de Tokyo
9jyounokaikawanisi
kitakyusyu gakko union ui
kansai.okinawasen wo kangaerukai
Ffukushima Children's Fund
Henoko no umini kichiwo tukurasenai KOBE koudou
yurusanaisennsouhououruitabasikoudoujikkouiinnkai
Violence Against Women in War Research Action Center
datugennpatuhe! kandenkabunusikoudounokai
Community-based Development Initiatives Center
Shizuoka-housyanou-osennsokuteisitu
GAKUDOU9JOUNOKAI CHIBA
Mito Peace Forum
Shimin no iken 30 no kai Tokyo
9jounokai Ube
International Center for Literacy and Culture (ICLC)
rentai rouso .yamagiti
Voice of Hroshima
midorinara
Peace Up Team for Visualization of the Article 9
Cycle of Life
Tokorozawa "Peace Declaration City" Club
CITIZENS ORGANIZATION for PEACE in OITA
No Base! Okinawa & kyoto
herikichi iranai futamiihokujukkunokai
People with Peace Constitution
West-Chugoku District of The United Church of Christ in Japan
Minshuku Yaponesia
Humanrights and Peace Network in Ube
Workers for Peace
Diving team Rainbow
Choufu Church
Santama Network of Cycling for Peace
network earth village
united church of christ tohoku district ministry committee
YWCA of NAGOYA
Abe seiken ni NO! Tokyo Chiki Network
"Katayabira OKINAWA" Moai Nerima
Henoko Umetate Dosya Hansyutu Keikaku Hantai Zenkoku Renraku Kyougikai
Pan Setonaikai Inlandsea congress
Takamatsu Tidal Flat Conservation Group
Dugong no sato
Stop Making Caisson for Henoko from Mie
Change Tokyo!
New Wave to HOPE
Nerima Bunkanokai
the nagara river studay ctizen group
yomigaere nagaragawa jikkouiinnkai
miyamori.630wotutaerukai
wakaba 9 jou no kai sewaninkai
Citizens' Network for Biodiversity in Okinawa
earthvillage@iidasimoina
ODA Reform Network Kansai
Kansai Action Center on Philippine Human Rights Issues
1000 people committee that does not war in Sakyo KYOTO
Association to Save Tidal Flats in Chiba
2015Iwakuni Workers anti-war exchanges rally Executive Committee
okinawano takae・henokoni tunagaru naranokai
Asia Wide Campaign YAMAGUCHI
shinaishinai-net
DAYS JAPAN KANSAI SUPPORTERS CLUB
alternative kanagawa
datugennpatukawasakishiminn
chiikikaraheiwawo kanngaerukai
kyoudokyouikuzenkokukyougikai
stopyanbadam siminnet
Fujimae Ramsar Society
inochinonekkowosodaterukai
OKINAWABUNKAKOZA
OKINAWAKOZA
ikiruasisuto.com

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Contact:
Friends of the Earth Japan
1-21-9 Komone, Itabashi-ku, Tokyo 173-0037
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