On Oct 3, last week, the Kenmin Dai-Koudo (Okinawa People’s Intensive Action), which had been suspended since March in order not to spread the COVID-19 pandemic, was held for the first time in 7 months. Approximately 700 people who came from within and out of the prefecture got together and reconfirmed the solidarity against the new base construction. Diet members representing Okinawa and the representatives of each protest site reported the current situation. Also, Governor Denny Tamaki sent us his massage.
The Diet members each criticized that Prime Minister Suga denied six nominees to the Gakujutu-Kaigi (Science Council of Japan) and Suga’s policy to go ahead with the new base construction under the crisis of COVID-19 pandemics.
Takeshi Kitaueda, a civil engineering technician and a member of the Okinawa Shimin Renrakukai (Association of People for Peace in Okinawa), reported sloppy contents of the application for design change submitted by the Okinawa Defense Bureau. He also expressed his firm intention to cooperate with the prefectural government to address various issues, including violation of the Forest Laws at Awa mine.
People applauded when Hiroji Yamashiro, Chairman of the Okinawa Heiwa Undo Center (Peace Okinawa Center), said it out loud, “Let’s show how brave the residents of the prefecture. Our determination is unshakable. However harsh the new cabinet would assert their authority to oppress, Okinawa will be unyielding.”
(In front of the Camp Schwab Gate)
It was a sunny day again. Many people who joined the sit-in held their parasol. In the morning and afternoon, approximately 30 people joined sit-in three times to show their will of protest. Even after being removed by the riot police, they shouted toward the delivery vehicles, “No ready-mixed concrete for the sea!” and “Stop the illegal construction right away.” Altogether 176 trucks brought in the construction materials.
(Ryukyu Cement Awa Pier)
Members of Shimagurumi Kaigi (Island-Wide Conference) Uruma chapter led the protest at the pier’s entrance and exit. Also, 11 vehicles of GoGo Drive members joined. Although loading work stopped for 30 minutes due to the conveyor belts’ malfunction, they loaded 760 truckloads of earth and sand to 4 cargo ships. As they kept working until 7:45 pm, a small number of people also continued the protest.
Every afternoon a heron always comes to the beach very close to the area where dump trucks unload earth and sand. I named it “Awa-chan.” It is fascinating to watch it walking in a leisurely fashion on the water’s edge, searching for something to eat. I imagine Awa-chan would be thinking this way: “It was tranquil here until two years ago. But now it’s so noisy and dirty. My food is getting scarce. It’s all human fault.”
(On the sea at the Oura Bay)
One protest boat and ten canoes went out on the sea. As more people from outside the prefecture started to join, the protest on the sea has more energized again. The protest rally was continued against the cargo ships trying to enter the Oura Bay and a sand carrier with a grab bucket unloading earth and sand at the K8 seawall.
(Motobu Shiokawa Pier)
Strangely they use a sand carrier with a grab bucket, which is not efficient. I asked Mr. T, who monitors every day, about his opinion. “As many members of the Uruma chapter show up for the protest on Mondays and it takes a lot of time for the riot police to remove them, they might intentionally use a sand carrier with a grab bucket on Mondays,” he said. It takes 3 minutes to load one truckload of earth and sand to a sand carrier with a grab bucket. Therefore, the dump trucks do not arrive together as a convoy, which certainly makes our protest action less effective.
Only 133 truckloads of earth and sand were loaded on this day.
Number of dump trucks which made delivery from December 2018 to the end of December 2019 114,601(1.39%)
|Number of dump trucks
|Weightt of earth/sand
|Converted to volume
|Volume per Total
※ Cumulative since Dec. 1, 2019
※① Calculated by assuming that the average truckload per dump truck would be 5 tons
※② Calculated by assuming that a specific weight of soil/sand set to be 2
※③ Percentage against 20.200.000m3, the total volume of earth and sand required for the landfill.