However, they are appalled that closing Futenma is contingent upon constructing new military facilities in Henoko, another part of Okinawa Island. A majority of local residents in Henoko are strongly opposed to this new construction, and it is possible to understand why. It would simply shift the problems of contamination, noise pollution, and safety hazards from one part of Okinawa to another, and would also destroy much of the fragile ecoystem of Oura Bay. This will likely lead to the extinction of the dugong from Japan, as well as yet again deny Okinawans access to part of their traditional land and water.
It’s time for the U.S. to engage more with the rest of the world through diplomatic, economic, and cultural ties rather than military means, and to stop adding to its collection of 1,000 military bases around the world. And it’s time for the Japanese government to say loud and clear: *“Shut down Futenma”* and *“No more new military construction in Okinawa.”*
For more information, contact: Emilie McGlone – email@example.com
Rose Welsch – firstname.lastname@example.org