Protest movement is supported by steady efforts of many people. Mr. Oshiro Seiji (assumed name, 73 yrs old) is one of them. He has been monitoring the number of truckloads loaded to the cargo ships from 7:00 a.m to 6:00 p.m. from the nearby beach ever since the shipping of earth/sand began almost one year ago. He said with a laugh, “My daily life has been changed completely. Now I cannot use a bathroom even when I need to use it.” His delligent monitoring has made it possible for the civil engineering experts to estimate that “the cummulative total amount of earth/sand dumped for landfill to date was about 2% of the required total amount”.
Mieko, his wife, comes to the protest sites of Awa and Shiokawa to set up banners and flags early in the morning and joins the rally. Every single morning, she makes preparation for the protestors to start-up and monitors the landfill operation. The couple spends a day only for the protest movement.
Hills in Motobu Town produce good quality material for construction works in Okinawa Prefecture. However, they never thought that it would be used for building military bases to wars. On the day they learned it, they discarded their ordinary daily life to fight for the children of the future.
A banner fastened to the fense along the national highway is flapping in the wind. “Homeland soil is for peace” reads the banner made by the concerned citizens of Motobu Town.
(In front of the Camp Schwab gate)
Four college students from Osaka stopped by Henoko and joined the sit-in rally during their bicycle touring of Okinawa. They “did not know much about the new base in Henoko”. However, following the recommendation made by the owener of a boarding house to visit “the gate and feel why Okinawans are protesting”, they came to the gate and found themselves sitting and rallying with the protestors. I am tickled with them and hopeful for their gut-feeling. What they experienced in front of the gate will be etched in their memory of Okinawa touring. I hope that they will perceive the base issue as if it were happening in their backyard when they come across “Henoko” printed in the newspapers.
Approximately 40 protestors rallied in the sit-in, but were removed by the riot police force. Delivery of 158 truckloads were made to the pier.
(On the sea in the Oura Bay)
Two boats and 12 canoes went out on the sea. Raising their voices, “Do not destroy the sea!”, they protested against the transportation operation by trucks to unload earth/sand from the cargo ships near K9 seawall. The canoe members tried to go over the float fenses to reach the operation site, but were captured and returned to the beach by the Japan Coast Guard.
(In front of Ryukyu Cement Awa pier)
The dump trucks were making the left turn again to enter the gate. One out of 10 trucks passed the gate and made U-turn to come back to make the left turn to enter the gate. Mr. Yamashiro Hiroji organized a sit-in to protest the truck drivers “to stop making the left turn because it is dangerous”. However, the trucks did not retreat, and the sit-in protestors were removed by 10 riot policemen. Fortunately, the number of truck making the left turn decreased in the afternoon. Some truck drivers did understand us. Many of the truck drivers are working to earn living. Deep in their mind, many drivers must be murmuring to themselves that “they would quit the job related to the base construction if only they could”.
Delivery of 502 truckload were made, and 775 truckloads of the earth/sand were loaded to 3 cargo ships from the storage pile in the stock yard.
(Motobu Shiokawa Pier)
The core member of the protest is fixed: 8 persons. The members of Shimagurumi-Uruma delayed the trucking operation from 7:00 a.m. for about one hour. After that, number of protestors went back to 8, who walked in front of the dump trucks to delay the trucking operation.
330 truckloads of earth/san were loaded to 2 cargo ships.
number of dump trucks to date and percentage against the total
The weight and the volume of earth/soil were estimated per experts’ advice
Number of dump trucks which made delivery from December 2018 to the end of December 2019 114,601(1.68%)
|Number of dump trucks
|Weightt of earth/sand
|Converted to volume
|Volume per Total