Jan 15 (Fri): Drifting Barge Damages Coral / Canoe Team Begins Rallies to Delay Departure of Carrier Vessels

On Jan 14, a barge used for the construction of Henoko, which was washed away from Sesoko Island in Motobu Town late last year and ran aground on the beach in Onna Village, was removed. Citizens, watching the barge being towed away by tugboats, shouted, “Stop destroying nature!” and “The Defense Bureau should take responsibility!”. Local divers investigated the site and found that the barge left its broken metal parts and extensively scraped some corals.  

The Okinawa Defense Bureau, when inquired about the facts of the coral damage, responded that it would take time to investigate and confirm the facts. It is a typically irresponsible response from them.



(In front of Camp Schwab Gate)

It was a beautiful day after a long spell of rain. Although the number of participants from mainland Japan decreased due to a state of emergency declared for Tokyo, Osaka, and other major cities by the government, about 30 people sat in front of the gate where the dump trucks enter. To prevent COVID-19 contagion, the sit-in protesters, avoiding direct contact with the riot police, voluntarily moved from the gate when the police chief ordered to remove them. This style of the rally has been going on for more than half a year now. The protesters wish to resist until forcibly removed, but they have no choice in the face of the corona disaster. The continuation of this style builds up the stress among the protesters.

The amenity hall for American soldiers that we can see in front of us looks completed. The Japanese government has poured millions of taxpayer money into building facilities for American soldiers to relieve military training fatigue but turns a knife on the Okinawa citizens who raise their voices against the base. The sight of the hall building worsens our stress every time we see it. Today is the 2,385th day of the sit-in rally.


(Ryukyu Cement Awa Pier)

Thirty people, including members of the Okinawa Heiwa Shimin Rennraku-kai (Okinawa Peace Forum), rallied at the pier’s entrance and exit to protest against the dump trucks carrying in earth and sand. The protesters took turns singing songs at the gate, sometimes shouting, “Don’t destroy the sea!” and “Go home, dump trucks!” and kept walking in front of the vehicles so that only one truck could enter while the traffic light is green.  The canoe team also gathered at the Awa Pier, and five boats took part in the first maritime action of the year. The team delayed the barges’ departure for about 30 minutes by sticking to the barges loaded with earth and sand.

The work crew loaded three barges with 1,032 dump truckloads of earth and sand. The shipment amount increased by about 20%, probably because two ships are now simultaneously unloading in Oura Bay. They started to remove the old pier near the beach, which they could not complete by the last year-end.  What was the cause of delay, one wonders?


(Motobu Shiokawa Pier)

Yesterday, nearly 30 people gathered for the Thursday Intensive Action, but only four members of the Motobu Shimagurumi (Motobu chapter of Island-Wide Conference) came on this day. Surrounded by security guards and police officers, they slowed down the dump trucks by slowly crossing the road.

By 4:30 in the evening, the crew loaded 709 truckloads onto five barges.


Number of dump trucks to date and percentage against the total

The estimation calculated on the basis of the number of ruckloads serves only as a reference.

Number of dump trucks which made delivery from December 2018 to the end of December 2020  302,705(3.746%)

9(Sat) 11(Mon) 12(Tue) 13(Wed) 14 (Thu) 15(Fri)
Awa 0 0 1000 859 926 1032
Shiokawa 0 0 0 708 710 709


Number of dump trucks
Weightt of earth/sand


Converted to volume


Volume per Total


309,049 1,545,245 t 772,623㎥ 3.825 %
※ 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.





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