Japan: «We're alarmed» — Experts assess environmental impact of US Okinawa base

US and Japanese experts addressed environmental and cultural threats to Okanawa from a US air base expansion plan, in Tokyo on Monday. «We're very disturbed, very disturbed by what we've seen,» said Peter Galvin of the US-based Center for Biological Diversity following a visit to Okanawa. «The Okinawa dugong is down to a very desperate level,» he said of the endangered marine mammal whose... Еще habitat is said to be at risk from the project. «As Americans we are appalled that our government would take actions that would exterminate, actually be the final death blow for this protected cultural monument,» he added. Conservations won a legal victory in August after the 9th Circuit US Court of Appeals said they could take the US military to court, to compel it to consider the full impacts of the new military base. Okinawan people consider the Okinawa dugongs to be cultural icons. «We're alarmed at what's happening in Henoko Bay but also excited that finally the merits of the case will be heard in court,» Galvin stated. Yoshikazu Makishi, the Okinawan plaintiff in the Dugong case, discussed the possible human impacts of the base-build. «In the clear zones there should be no houses, no gathering places, no hospitals, no schools, so that in the case of the air base as you can see that in the clear zones there will be people's houses,» he said, referring to a map of the area. «This is just illogical that the US military returns the land which they stole, considering the safety issues,» he added.

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