Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Okinawan delegation travels to U.S. to protest military base development impacting local endangered species

A delegation of political and community leaders from Okinawa, Japan, concluded the Bay Area portion of their visit to the United States this week to oppose a new military base in Henoko and Oura Bay, a key habitat for endangered species such as the dugong.

“Okinawa dugongs are facing extinction, a sad fact that the approval process for this project ignored,” Center for Biological Diversity Director of Programs Peter Galvin said. “We stand with the Okinawan people in calling for a real environmental review and respect for local concerns. We shouldn’t let the U.S. military continue to trash this biologically important region.”

During the Bay Area portion of their American trip, the 27 delegates met with U.S. Sen. Dianne Fienstein (D-CA) and U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) to discuss the plight of the dugong, a culturally important species for the island, and to express the project's unpopularity.

“What’s happening now is unreasonable and unjust and not the way things are supposed to go,” Kin-Town Assembly Member Nobutake Yasutomi said. “We feel like there is discrimination and oppression against the people of Okinawa.”

Organizations in this Story

Center for Biological Diversity

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