May 22 (Wed): In Awa, 120 People Rallied in Protest / Toxic Substances Found Near US Bases

(In Front of the Gate)
About 20 people rallied in protest to the base construction material delivery. But, 3 times a day, the number of deliveries reached 290 truckloads today.


(In Front of Ryukyu Cement Pier in Awa)
Shipping from Shiokawa Pier of Motobu Port was made only one day, as we expected.
Because it was Wednesday Intensive Action, approximately 120 people gathered in front of the Pier in Awa including Mr. Furuken Saneyoshi, a former member of the House of Representatives and Mr. Inamine Susumu, an ex-mayor of Nago City.
Walking in protest demonstration, we tried to delay the trucks loaded with earth and sand going to the Pier. We decided to increase the number of protestors not only on Wednesdays but on every day from June in order to decrease the number of shipping from the Pier. Mr. Yamashiro Hiroji called out.
“Our Wednesday Intensive Action has been effective, and only one cargo ship leaves the Pier on Wednesdays. To our regret; however, 3 cargo ships leave the Pier on other days. If we do Wednesday Intensive Action on every day, the planned construction schedule of 13 years will be 3 times longer, which is 40 years!”
The protest team on the sea, 2 rubber boats and 7 canoes, delayed departure of the cargo ships. The number of deliveries was 367 truckloads that was almost a half of that of an average of the non-Wednesday Intensive Action days.


Mr. Yamashiro Hiroji and several tens of the citizens visited the Northern Civil Engineering Office in Nago City to protest that setting up fences to surround Shiokawa Pier of Motobu Port where shipping out earth and sand took place yesterday is in conflict with the Prefectural policy.
Mr. Yamashiro criticized and requested a written reply from the Office.
“The approval given by the Northern Civil Engineering Office to permit the use of the Pier and setting up feces goes back on the Prefecture’s claim that it is an illegal construction.”
It has been reported that high concentration of toxic organoflourine compounds (PFOS and PFOA) were found near the US bases. PFOS and PFOA are not permitted to produce or use internationally and are designated as carcinogenic substances.
The substances were found in Chatan Water Purifying Plant and the rivers near the bases. Some measurements showed the value that goes 100 times over the designated allowable value. The use of foam fire extinguisher in the US military forces seems to have contributed higher concentration around the bases. Inquiries on the matter have been made in the Diet, and more discussion will come on the national level.

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