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The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus
In-depth critical analysis of the forces shaping the Asia-Pacific...and the world.
Internationalizing the Okinawan Struggle:
Implications of the 2006 Elections in Okinawa and the US


By Hideki Yoshikawa


With the Bush administration in deep trouble on many fronts, the government of Japan is striving to carry out a reorganization that will integrate Japanese forces in American strategic actions throughout the Arc of Instability. For ten years, from 1996, Japan’s longest unfulfilled promise has been to build a new base for the US marines in Okinawa to replace the inconvenient, obsolescent and politically charged Futenma. All efforts at construction have been blocked by a coalition of local Okinawan residents and citizens.

In November 2006, elections in Okinawa brought to office a new Governor. In Tokyo, the defeat of a candidate who had declared herself determined never to allow the construction, was interpreted as a green light to proceed with the revised construction plan at Camp Schwab on the Henoko peninsula in northern Okinawa. As Hideki Yoshikawa here reveals, it is not so simple. First, the new LDP Governor had declared his opposition to the plan “in its present form” (albeit indicating a readiness to negotiate), and he took huge efforts to avoid having the election focus on the base issue, insisting instead that it was about the economy and jobs. Exit polls on election day revealed that more of his supporters opposed the base construction project than supported it (and overall only 22 per cent of Okinawans accepted the plan, according to Yomiuri shimbun of 20 November). The retiring Governor, Inamine Keiichi, came to office eight years ago with the backing of the ruling coalition in Tokyo, which believed he could deliver on the base. But instead he stalled, raised impossible conditions, and blocked it through two consecutive terms of office. Whether the new Governor will prove any different remains now to be seen.

The plan is clear: to pour so much money into Okinawa, especially the impoverished Northern Okinawan vicinity of the base construction site, as to overwhelm resistance and even, hopefully, to win, if not support, at least grudging consent to the construction of a major new military complex. Where elsewhere throughout Japan straitened fiscal circumstances and corruption scandals have discredited public works-centered, dependent local development, in Okinawa the policies that underpin it are to be stepped up: in future up to 95 per cent of public works projects in Okinawa will be funded from the national treasury (Ryukyu shimpo, 21 November 2006). The experience of development in Japan, and of Okinawa since its reversion to Japan in 1972, is that such largesse is illusory; debt mounts anyway. For Okinawa, however, that is the point: as debt mounts, dependence on Tokyo will rise, sapping the capacity of local governments to resist Tokyo’s will and protect the interests of local people and the environment.


Local Okinawan activist Yokuta Yasuaki explains the plan for base construction

Yoshikawa here highlights a neglected aspect of the Okinawan contest: the emergence of an important new front in the struggle beyond the local, Okinawan and Japanese, to the international (including American) in the context of post-election efforts by a weakened Bush administration to control Congress and US allies. Tokyo’s efforts to fulfill its commitments to the Pentagon will continue, but it will face rising international, as well as domestic, opposition.
(GMcC)

Elections in Okinawa and the US

With Okinawan electorate anxiously watching, Nakaima Hirokazu defeated Itokazu Keiko and Yara Chosuke in a tightly contested gubernatorial election on November 19, 2006.

For the next four years, many expect Okinawa’s new governor, Nakaima, the former chairman of the Okinawa Electric Power Company, to follow many Japanese government’s policies, notably the controversial plan to replace the US Marine Air Station at Futenma with a new US base at Henoko, Nago city, in the north of the island, in waters still relatively unspoiled which also constitute crucial habitat for the endangered dugong species.


Nakaima Hirokazu on the campaign trail

As a local person involved in the effort to stop the construction of the base and to establish a protected area for the dugong in Henoko, I was certainly disappointed with the result of the election. Like many people here in Okinawa, however, I will continue to fight against the construction of the new base. The Japanese government is eager to foist its own interpretation of the election result on Okinawa, but the majority of Okinawans still oppose the construction plan. It is important to note that the gubernatorial election was won primarily on the issue of the economy with the victor not only downplaying the base issue but leaving ambiguous his own position on the issue. Moreover, the victory by the Democratic Party in mid-term elections in the US gives hope that a more environmentally accountable congress will emerge to confront a weakened Bush administration. Particularly significant is the fact that the international community of international environmental groups, scientists and concerned citizens now seek to hold the US government and military responsible for both the environmental and military consequences of the plan to construct the base at Henoko, one that would expand the US military reach throughout the Asia Pacific.

In other words, the fate of the construction plan may well depend upon the dynamic interplay between the Okinawans’ struggle for self determination, rooted in their daily life of living with US bases, and environmental and security politics played out in the international arena, rather than exclusively upon the local election in Okinawa.

The Okinawan Election: Economy and US Bases

The gubernatorial election was a quintessentially Okinawan event. [1] The economy and the US bases were again the two main issues on which voters based their decisions, and the construction plan was certainly on the mind of many. While some Okinawans and outside observers described the election as a “referendum” for Okinawans on whether to accept or reject the construction plan, the election presented less than clear-cut choices for the majority of Okinawans. Given the long history of being forced to live with US bases under both pro-base and anti-base governors, Okinawans carefully choose a candidate in light of the political and economic circumstances. Because many perceived no immediate or impending threat from the US bases and the construction plan, with the ruling LDP government pumping money and promises of lavish aid into the Nakaima campaign, the majority of Okinawan voters prioritized the economy over the construction plan. [2]

Organized by the ruling coalition of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), New Komeito, and large local business firms, Nakaima’s election campaign showed a good understanding of the Okinawan politics of economy and bases. Focusing on the dire situation of the economy, Nakaima made bold campaign promises to bring down the chronic unemployment rate of 7.6 percent to that of mainland Japan, around 4.3 percent. Whether such a promise is credible, he was the only candidate who dared to make it. The majority of Okinawans certainly wanted to see in their next governor such boldness dealing with economic issues.

Nakaima was also able to neutralize the base issue stressed by the opposition by insisting both that the present construction plan as adopted by the Japanese government was unacceptable and that the dangerous Futenma Air Station should be closed within the next three years. These campaign promises were virtually the same as those of the other candidates, thus making it difficult for voters to choose their governor solely on the issues of the construction plan. At the same time, Nakaima differentiated himself from the other candidates by hinting that he was prepared to negotiate with the central government over the plan.

Nakaima’s strategy of focusing on economic issues and Tokyo’s pledges of economic support while refusing to clarify his position on the construction plan, had proven successful for LDP-backed candidates in previous mayoral elections in Nago and gubernatorial elections. In November 2006, it served Nakaima well.

In contrast, Itokazu’s campaign was hindered both by an initial political muddle among a fragile coalition of opposition parties over to the best challenger to Nakaima and by the failure to generate a balanced and convincing set of campaign policies in line with the concerns of the voters. Despite her popularity as a former representative in the Upper House of the Diet, Itokazu’s candidacy was seen by many as a weak compromise resulting from a political and personal battle between Yamauchi Tokushin, treasurer under the governorship of Ota Masahide, and Shimoji Mikio, current representative in the Lower House of the Diet. Both declared that they would challenge Nakaima, but unable to agree on who should be the representative of the coalition of opposition parties, both withdrew, offering the candidacy to Itokazu. By then, however, Nakaima’s campaign had already been running for one month. When she eventually conceded the election, Itokazu admitted that she had not had enough time to convince the voters of her policies.


Candidate Itokazu Keiko

Itokazu’s campaign was also seen by many as notable for anti-base rhetoric but weak on economic issues. While her anti-construction stance was well received by her supporters, she was unable to articulate and deliver an economic program to the wider public. Her pledge to transform the important but ailing construction industry into a sector that would shift its focus from wasteful and environmentally damaging public work projects to works that would help revive Okinawa’s degraded environment was not clearly explained. Struggling to survive as they are at present, many construction firms and their large labor force were not ready for such drastic changes. [3]

Nakaima was able to cash in on Itokazu’s inability to balance the issues of the economy and the bases. Posters put up on street telephone poles by Nakaima supporters challenged Itokazu by stating: Kichi hantai dakede iindesuka (Is it enough just to be anti-base?). In the end, the popularity of Itokazu’s anti-base stance was not enough to overcome the weaknesses of her economic program and the large spending advantage that the Nakaima camp enjoyed.

The Japanese Government Interprets the Election Result

The election was decided on economic issues rather than on those of the construction plan as is clear from the fact that only 18 percent of the voters supported the present construction plan. [4] Yet the Japanese government opportunistically interpreted the election result differently, proclaiming Nakaima’s victory as a sign that Okinawans were ready to accept the Henoko base construction plan. Prime Minister Abe Shinzo and Director General of the Defense Agency, Kyuma Fumio, welcomed the election result, stating that the construction plan could now proceed. [5] The Japanese government has sought to foist that interpretation on the Okinawan and Japanese public as well the US government and military.

Following the election Nakaima declared that although the present construction plan was not acceptable he would be “flexible” in negotiating with the Japanese government as long as the “concerns of the locals” were taken into consideration. [6] That comment was immediately welcomed by Kyuma Fumio, the Director General of the Defense Agency (from January 2007 elevated to the Ministry of Defense). [7]

The consensus among the Japanese government and the ruling coalition was that following his election victory Nakaima would strongly support the construction plan, which had been the basis for LDP backing of his candidacy. He faced both huge pressure and powerful incentives from the Japanese government and the ruling coalition to do so. He also faced pressure from large local business firms, his major Okinawan supporters, who anticipated benefit from the construction of the costly base as well as from Tokyo’s promised “development incentives.” [8]

Some center-to-right national newspapers such as Nihon Keizai Shinbun and Sankei Shinbun ran articles presenting interpretations of the election result similar to that of the Japanese government. [9] Other major newspapers such as Asahi Shinbun and Tokyo Shinbun cautioned that the government should pay attention to the anti-base opinion expressed through the over 310,000 votes that Itokazu and Yara had received. [10]

Many anti-base construction people in Okinawa were enraged at the Japanese government’s interpretation and Nakaima’s turn around. Others were understandably confused, with some internalizing the Japanese government’s interpretation as their own. The mayor of Nago, Shimabukuro Yoshikazu, stated that the city of Nago had agreed in principle to the present construction plan, [11] despite the fact that the citizens of Nago had never been polled on the construction plan.

The democratic process of the election was a useful tool for the government to proceed with the construction plan. This was confirmed when Nakaima’s campaign promise for a three year time frame for the closure of the Futenma Air Station was rejected by Director General of the Defense Agency, Kyuma Fumio, immediately after the election. [12]

International Attention to the Environment

Why did the Japanese government seek to buttress the case for construction of the new base on the outcome of the election, risking possible defeat? Why did it not simply implement the plan, ignoring negative repercussions? These questions demand answers when one considers that the Japanese government has in the past accepted various demands from the US government and military and imposed them upon Okinawans without consultation in the name of US-Japan Security Treaty.

There are perhaps two reasons why the Japanese government used the path of election to justify the construction plan.

First of all, any iron-fisted approach by Tokyo would certainly have brought about a political uproar and strong protest from Okinawans and international opponents of base construction. Not only would that have hindered the process of construction, but it might also have been detrimental to the Japanese government and the US-Japan Security Treaty. Indeed, the Japanese Defense Facilities Administration Agency’s forceful attempts to conduct drilling surveys in the waters of Henoko in 2004 were met with a fierce protest at sea, and that protest played an important role in bringing an end to the previous construction plan.

In fact, many anti-construction protesters regard that protest on the sea as their proven strategy for checkmating US base plans. The Henoko protest was foreshadowed by a local sit-in protesting the US military’s construction of an urban warfare facility in Onna village in the late 1980s. [13] When the Japanese government ordered the riot police to remove the protesters, an uproar ensued and the protest intensified. The facility was eventually constructed, only to be removed by the US military in 1992 in response to continued local protest.

The Japanese government does not want to repeat the same mistake it made at that time, while anti-construction protesters recognize the potential power of non-violent sit-in protest for halting the base construction juggernaut.

Secondly, a high-handed approach by the Japanese government would shift all responsibility for environmental destruction resulting from the construction of the base onto the Japanese government itself. Tokyo is keenly aware of the international attention that the construction plan and the popular struggle against it have generated. Many international environmental groups, scientists, and concerned citizens have spoken out against the construction of the base at Henoko, pointing to environmental destruction, in particular to the habitat of the endangered dugong. The United Nations Environment Programme warned that the dugong habitat could be damaged by military activities associated with the construction and use of an airbase at Henoko. [14] The BBC’s World Earth Report on the Henoko base construction plan vividly captured the uncomfortable dilemma facing the Japanese government. [15]

Given the international attention from both environmental and peace groups, and the fact that the Japanese government has been unable to come up with an alternative site for the relocation of the Futenma Air Station, the government apparently saw the path of election as the best means to pursue the construction plan. Although it is the Japanese government that would ultimately have to carry out the construction, it recognized the value of local support for the plan registered at the polls in Okinawa in general and in Nago and Henoko in particular for shifting responsibility for the decision away from Tokyo. It could then insist that the Okinawan people had endorsed the construction plan in return for economic incentives by electing a candidate who accepted the construction plan.

The actions taken by the Ministry of the Environment (MoE) with regard to the Okinawan dugong may best illustrate the dilemma facing the Japanese government. There is no doubt that the MoE would be held accountable if the construction of the base caused environmental destruction in Henoko, further endangering the dugong. For its part, to its credit, since 2001 the MoE has been conducting surveys and publishing reports on the status and distribution of the dugong in Okinawa. A Summary of the 2005 Survey Results on Dugongs and Seaweed Beds over a Wide Area, was published in order “to establish general conservation measures for dugong around the mainland of Okinawa.” [16] These MoE surveys and reports warned that the dugong were on the verge of extinction and suggested measures to protect them.


Henoko waters (photo courtesy Save the Dugong Campaign Center)

In the face of determined efforts by the Japanese government to proceed with the construction plan, these efforts by the MoE have, however, been trivial. The publication of its reports went virtually unnoticed and ignored by the government. Thus, it is hard to see whether such efforts will help protect the dugong. At the same time, the Japanese government may seek to use the reports to protect itself against international criticism. When asked about its responsibilities, the Japanese government might argue that the MoE had been doing what it could do, but that the Okinawans had decided to accept the construction of the base in the dugong habitat despite the MoE warnings.


The dugong habitat with Camp Schwab
in the background (photo courtesy SDCC)

The Japanese government appears committed to the construction of the base at Henoko and prepared to deal with any criticism while international interest in the environment of Henoko has risen.

The US Government and Military vs the Coalition of Okinawans and International Environmental Groups

The Japanese government’s efforts to avoid taking responsibility for the possible destruction of the Henoko environment are matched by those of the US government and military. Both are, of course, ultimately responsible for the construction plan and its consequences. To pressure the US government and military to recognize their roles and take responsibility, a dynamic coalition has emerged linking Okinawans with international environmental groups, scientists, and concerned citizens.

That coalition is now pressuring the US government and military to carry out a full environment impact assessment (EIA) before construction can proceed. The coalition is confident that any proper EIA would put an end to plans to construct a Futenma replacement facility at Henoko,

The coalition has been making significant progress. In September 2003, US based environmental groups including the Center for Biological Diversity and their Japanese counterparts including Higashionna Takuma from Nago city, represented by Earthjustice, filed a lawsuit against the US Department of Defense (DoD) in the US Federal District Court in San Francisco. They sought to require the US Department of Defense to comply with the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) by conducting an assessment of the impact of the proposed base construction on the Okinawan dugong and other endangered species. [17] The Okinawa dugong is listed as a “Natural Monument” under Japan’s “Cultural Properties Protection Law”. It is also listed under the US Endangered Species Act. In the initial court hearing, the US DoD asked for the case to be dismissed, arguing that the issue was one for the Japanese government only. [18] The judge ruled, however, that the case should be heard, and it is currently proceeding. [19]


The dugong at sea

At the International Union of Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Congress held in Bangkok in 2004, Japanese environmental groups (and this author) presented draft recommendations regarding the conservation of the dugongs and two other endangered species threatened by the US military presence and the base construction plan. The recommendations urged the US government to cooperate in the Japanese government’s EIA. The representative of the US Department of the State refused to accept the draft, arguing that the US government could not intervene in the matters of a “sovereign state.” The final and compromised version of the recommendations urged the US government to “cooperate, if requested, in the environmental impact assessments carried out by the Government of Japan for military base site construction.” [20] To date, however, there has been no sign that the Japanese government has asked the US government and military to do so.


IUCN World Conservation Conference (photo
courtesy Save the Dugong Campaign Center)

Despite international pressure, the US government and military continue to refuse to recognize and take responsibility for their roles in the construction plan. Their refusal underlines the gravity of possible environmental destruction posed by construction of the base, thereby drawing further international attention to the plan. The Japanese government’s unwillingness to request US government and military participation in the EIA further underlines potential problems associated with the construction plan.

Effect of the US Mid-Term Elections

The results of the US elections in November 2006 were encouraging to the coalition between Okinawans and the international community of environmental groups, scientists, and concerned citizens who have been struggling to protect the environment and the dugong.

In January 2007, Barbara Boxer from California takes over the chairmanship of the Environment and Public Works Committee replacing James Inhofe of Oklahoma. For Inhofe, global warming was “the greatest hoax perpetrated on the American people.” [21] He called for eliminating the Endangered Species Act to unleash industry. Boxer by contrast, is well known for her engagement with environmental issues. She has promised “major policy shifts on global warming, air quality and toxic-waste clean up.” [22] Given the existence in the US of stringent and sophisticated environmental laws and mechanisms to implement policies (if it chooses to do so), the changes in the leadership of the committee and the makeup of the congress have potentially important implications for the global environment. [23]

With this new political context in the US, the coalition is contemplating new strategies to protect the Henoko environment and the dugong. Through lawsuits, forums and conferences, and media activities, it will maximize international pressure on the US government and military. In particular, it plans to pressure the US government and military to become involved in the EIA for the construction of the base, demanding that they apply the same rigorous standards they would use in EIA on US bases on American soil.

The coalition is scrutinizing the institutional guidelines and the research conducted by the US government and military and the Japanese government as means of contesting environmental and cultural politics. It will examine the implications of the Japan Environmental Guide Standards (JEGS), which was created by the US government and military and the Japanese government in 2001 as the “sole source of guidance for environmental compliance, requirements, regulations, and standards for DoD activities and installations in Japan.” [24] The JEGS recognizes the dugong as an endangered species. The coalition is also examining the implications of Final Report: Task 5 Cultural Historical, and Archeological Documentation, MCB Camp Smedley D. Butler and MCAS Futenma, Okinawa (1993) published by the US military. [25] The report documented the results of examination of documents and surveys on archeological, cultural and historical resources of Okinawa in relation to US bases on the island of Okinawa. It recognized the existence of cultural assets with scientific value in Camp Schwab, where the construction of the new base is planned.


Entrance to Camp Schwab (photo courtesy SDCC)

Contrary to their refusal to recognize their roles and to take responsibility in the construction plan, it is clear that the US government and military have already recognized their responsibility for the environment of US bases and local cultural resources on US bases. The coalition will certainly draw upon this point and insist that environmental and cultural assessment not be confined to the locality of Okinawa, but that they meet standards upheld in US courts and in other international arenas.

It is not yet possible to determine whether the changes in the US congress will translate into substantial changes in the plan to construct the base at Henoko or even to assess its environmental impact. Perhaps no change can be expected during the last two years of Bush’s presidency, and the Japanese government is likely to make maximum efforts to carry out the construction plan before President Bush’s term expires. Moreover, even if the US government and military accept their responsibility, it is difficult to gauge the response of the Japanese government.

Nonetheless, the emergence of the coalition and the results of the US mid term elections have potentially important implications for the fate of the construction plan. With its focus on the protection of the environment of Henoko and the dugong, the coalition demands the responsibility and accountability of the US government and military and the Japanese government for the construction. In this way, the coalition makes it difficult for the Japanese government to maneuver the local election results in Okinawa as a political tool to rush through the construction plan. It now becomes necessary for the Japanese government to consider not only US pressures but also those of international environmental politics.

Conclusion: The Coalition of Okinawan Self Determination and International Environmental Movements

It is ironic that the most unspoiled environmental areas in and around the islands of Okinawa are those where US bases and military training areas are located. Some US personnel have claimed that the Okinawans cannot protect their own environment. Hence the result will be the same whether or not the Henoko base is constructed. Okinawans respond that the occupation by US military bases of such a large area of the islands has left us with few options for development, forcing us to reclaim land and destroy forests in search of better land for development. Still, it is a fact that the best environmental areas in Okinawa are those within US military bases and training areas. Knowingly or unknowing, the US military has played an important role in helping preserve the environment of Okinawa.

In this paradoxical situation of politics and environment, Okinawans and the international community of environmental groups, scientists, and concerned citizens have formed a coalition to fight against the plan to construct the US base at Henoko. The stakes are high and both Okinawan and international forces recognize that their ability to halt the construction of the base will require incorporating each other’s objectives, knowledge, strategies, and inspiration as the conflict is simultaneously played out in Okinawa and in the US and beyond.

For many Okinawans, an increase in the burden of US bases and an associated increase in environmental degradation are simply not acceptable. After all, we are the ones who live in and will continue to live in this environment. We have the responsibility to protect and pass this environment on to future generations. Protesting against the construction plan and protecting the environment of Henoko have merged to become a symbol of Okinawan self-determination, democracy, and healthy development. For the international community, the construction plan is an important litmus test for the future of the global environment. If the endangered dugong in Japan, a country of tremendous wealth, advanced technology, educated people, and democratic institutions, cannot be protected, the future of the global environment is grim. Protecting Henoko through protests against the construction plan has become a significant affirmation of commitment to the protection of the environment, transcending national boundaries.

The dynamic interplay between Okinawans and the international community helps sustain and is sustained by the continued strong voice of the majority of the Okinawans who oppose the construction. It is no coincidence that, under the supposedly pro-construction governorship of Inamine Keiichi, and despite the pouring of money into the Okinawa Development and Northern Districts Development funds, the previous construction plan had to be scrapped. It is also no coincidence that Governor Inamine strongly opposed the present construction plan, which was approved by the US government and military and the Japanese government. Although the Japanese government kept believing and insisting to the US government and military that Okinawans had accepted the construction of the base by their election of Inamine, the strong voices and actions of anti-construction forces in Okinawa and in the international arena kept Governor Inamine in check. Those same strong voices and actions will surely keep the new Governor Nakaima in check too.

It should not be forgotten that as of yet the Okinawans and the international community’s 10-year struggle against the construction plan has not allowed even a single nail to be driven into the environment of Henoko. It is time for the US government and military and the Japanese government to take a hard look at why this is the case.


Hideki Yoshikawa is an anthropologist who teaches at the Graduate School, Okinawa Prefectural University of Arts and at Meio University in Okinawa. He is a member of the Save the Dugong Campaign Center and a founding member of the Nago Citizens' Assessment. He lives in Nago city with his wife and three children. Posted at Japan Focus on January 5, 2007.


Notes
[1] For discussion of the election issues, see Eric Johnston, “Okinawan election with US base plan in the balance,” Japan Focus, November 10, 2006.

[2] According to the pre-election opinion survey conducted by Asahi Shinbun and Okinawa Times, November 14, 2006, 52 percent of the people were most concerned with economic revitalization while 26 percent were most concerned with base issues. However, according to the election exit poll conducted by Mainichi Shinbun and the Ryukyu Broadcasting Company (RBC), November 20, 2006, 30 percent of the voters based their decision on economic revitalization and 30 percent on base rearrangement and reduction. According to the same exit poll, 54 percent of the voters favored locating the Futenma Air Station outside Okinawa while only 18 percent of the voters supported the present construction plan.

[3] Personal communication with managers of construction firms in Okinawa.

[4] Mainichi Shinbun, November 20, 2006.

[5] Okinawa Times, November 20, 2006; Ryukyu Shimpo, November 20, 2006.

[6] Okinawa Times, November 20, 2006; Ryukyu Shimpo, November 20, 2006.

[7] Okinawa Times, November 21, 2006; Ryukyu Shimpo, November 2006.

[8] For an analysis on the relationship between Okinawa and the Japanese government in relation to the gubernatorial Election, see Gavan McCormack, “The Okinawan election and resistance to Japan’s military first politics,” Japan Focus, November 15, 2006.

[9] Nihon Keizai Shinbun, November 20, 2006; Sankei Shinbun, November 20, 2006.

[10] Asahi Shinbun, November 20, 2006 and Tokyo Shinbun, November 20, 2006.

[11] Okinawa Times, November 20, 2006.

[12] Okinawa Times, December 1, 2006; Ryukyu Shimpo, December 1, 2006.

[13] Personal communication with anti-construction protesters.

[14] Helen Marsh, Helen Penrose, Carole Eros, and Joanna Hughes, Dugong: Status Reports and Action Plans for Countries and Territories, UNEP/DEWA, 2002.

[15] Development with Destruction, a documentary film by the BBC World Earth Report, was aired worldwide in the fall of 2005.

[16] For A Summary of the 2005 Survey Results on Dugongs and Seaweed Beds over a Wide Area by the Ministry of the Environment, see http://www.env.go.jp/press/press.php?serial=5596. The document is available only in Japanese.

[17] US & Japanese Conservation Groups Join in Legal Effort to Dave Okinawa dugong from extinction, press release by Earthjustice, September 25, 2003.

[18] Bob Egelko “Imperiled mammal threatened by plan for okinawa base: court in S.F. hears activists advocate applying U.S. law,” San Francisco Chronicle, August 5, 2004.

[19] Bob Egelko “Judge OKs using U.S. law to save sea creature: Okinawan dugong imperiled if Maine base is relocated,” San Francisco Chronicle, March 3, 2005.

[20] See the final version of the recommendations (which were adopted).

[21] Samantha Young, “Boxer pledges shift on global warming,” Associated Press on line, November 9, 2006.

[22] Ibid.

[23] Personal communications with environmental activists in the US.

[24] Memorandum For See Distribution from USF J/100, Unit 5068, November 5, 2001.

[25] Final Report: Task 5 Cultural Historical, and Archeological Documentation, MCB Camp Smedley D. Butler and MCAS Futenma, Okinawa by Virginia H. Goldstein and Alan E. Haun (1993). This report was obtained through the Freedom of Information Act by the Center for Biological Diversity.

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Authors: For all articles by the author, click on author's name.   Hideki YOSHIKAWA