We have learned that the Okinawa Defense Bureau is struggling to speed up the earth/sand shipping operation. It proves that the construction of the new military base is substantially delayed by the citizens’ protest movement.
Two issues loomed at Awa Pier and Shiokawa Port where earth/sand are shipped out. One of the two is to dismantle and remove the “old pier” at Awa. It is decrepit, and Okinawa Prefecture has been demanding that the old pier be removed before the end of March. Ryukyu Cement Co., an owner of the pier, is applying for extended use of the old pier, but Okinawa Prefectural government being responsible for management of the ports, is not likely to approve the extension. Removal of the old pier will force Ryukyu Cement Co. to conduct 2 works at one pier; loading of earth/sand and its original business, which inevitably will substantially slow down the shipping of earth/sand.
Anticipating the lowered efficiency of earth/sand shipping from the pier at Awa, the Okinawa Defense Bureau requested the Okinawa Prefectural government for the use of a ”belt conveyor” at Shiokawa Port in Motobu Town. They want to increase the efficiency by using a belt conveyor rather than loading earth/sand from a dump truck to a carrier ship. However, installation of a belt conveyor also requires an approval of the Prefectural government.
The ratio of shipping earth/sand from Awa Pier and Shiokawa Port is about 3:1. The Okinawa Defense Bureau intends to shift a hub of earth/sand shipping from Awa Pier to Shiokawa Port, but two problems are standing in the way. A group of citizens will publicly urge the Okinawa Prefectural government not to approve the request. We want the Okinawa Prefectural government to stick firmly to its policy and not to approve the request.
(In front of Camp Schwab Gate)
Only nine protestors began the sit-in in the pouring rain at 9:00 in the morning. They still sang songs as usual, and chanted slogans, showing their strong will to protest to the military base. No deliveries were made by concrete mixer trucks. Deliveries of crushed stone were made three separate times during the day, which amounted to a total of 112 truckloads.
(In front of Ryukyu Cement Pier at Awa)
About 30 citizens protested in the heavy rain. It is very dangerous that dump trucks come in both directions of the road. In particular, the dump trucks that come from the right and turn left present a risk of dragging the protestors. The protestors demanded the riot police force to immediately prohibit making the dangerous left turn, but in vain. Rallyig hard, the protestors kept on coming very close to the dump trucks that were about to turn left.
No earth/sand loading works were done because Ryukyu Cement Co. was using the pier for their original business. Earth/sand delivered by 721 dump trucks was added to a temporary storage pile in the stok yard. On the sea, a canoe team cancelled their protest due to big waves.
(Shiokawa Portt in Motobu Town)
The work was cancelled due to big waves in the morning, but was started at 13:00 p.m., and 214 truckloads of earth/sand were loaded to two carrier ships.