In haste while connected to internet in south east Taiwan.
Michel and Jude from Seed Savers, thats us, have just completed a four week tour of Japan where three former interns introduced us, to “seed grandmothers” the last keepers of garden seed diversity and food traditions in Japan.
We also visited two US Bases’s protest camps in Henoko Bay, Okinawa. 18% of Okinawa land is occupied by the US military and the greatest majority of Okinawan people are opposed to the construction of a highly strategic US aeronaval base capable of receiving the noisiest F16 jet fighters with nuclear missile capacity. Pristine Henoko Bay is home to a endemic tropical species, including dugongs and turtles.
Okinawan pleas deserve to be widely heard widely and we can supply contacts, keen to speak to the global media. Any media folks interested in covering the story please contact English-speaking Masami Kawamura PhD, Okinawan Citizens’ Network on Biodiversity: 81 98 898 5688 mobile 81 70 5482 0084. See Extracts below.
On a more local note: Byron Hinterland Seed Savers’ Rasa Dover and Paul Crebar, are organising a seed exchange on 25th July at Seed Savers’ Network, Old Bangalow Road, Byron after our return. Please see their Fb page. Jude and Michel will give a talk about Okinawa and their June Seed Solidarity Tour in Japan, Taiwan, and Malaysia.
Extracts from several current English papers in Japan:
On June 19, in Tokyo, anti-US base Okinawan Governor Takeshi Onaga will meet with US Ambassador Kennedy for the first time.
The Governor will convey to the ambassador the will of the majority of Okinawan people, which is to refuse construction of a US base at Henoko Bay, where the governments of Japan and the United States plan to move US Marine Corps Air Station Futenma from Ginowan. Onaga will ask the ambassador to review the relocation plan.
The Ryukyu Shimpo presents a special photo series on what has been happening in the sea of Henoko. The Japan Coast Guard officers have been forcefully removing citizens protesting against the construction of the new base on Oura Bay, where there are world-class reefs and dugongs. It is an absurdity to build the new U.S. base against the will of the people, because the United States is the leader of and biggest advocate for democracy in the world.
(English version translated and edited by T&CT and Jane Close)
In February 2015, coral was crushed by concrete blocks installed for a seabed boring survey in Oura Bay. Some concrete blocks have damaged coral that lies beyond the area approved for land reclamation by the Okinawa Prefectural Government.
Okinawa residents, who have demonstrated in several protest rallies against the presence of the US airbase on the island, have long resented the fact that they suffered the US military presence on Okinawa and occasional crimes committed by US troops.
Most islanders, scarred by a devastating military attack by the US during World War II, are critical of their government which hosts tens of thousands of US troops and US military facilities occupying about 18 percent of the island’s area.