I’d like to respond to Kinuye Oshiro-Avery’s Nov. 29 letter “Futenma has environmental issue.” First, let me make it clear that I am against any country’s military bases anywhere in the world. That said, I went to the Web site suggested by Oshiro-Avery, expecting to see a video about the threatened coral reef and dugong, since the letter seemed to be based on the U.S. federal court ruling Dugong v. Gates.
Instead I was treated to World War II photos of U.S. warships bombarding Okinawa (1945) and a devastated Naha, and of Okinawans “coming out of hiding” and finding their land confiscated to build the U.S. Futenma air station.
I couldn’t but wonder how the Japanese Imperial Army would have treated the locals had it succeeded in invading Hawaii. Perhaps like it treated the folks in Nanking or the Korean Peninsula in the 1920s and ’30s. The site, of course, did have shots of the U.S. military helicopter crashing into a school, but nothing about the reefs or dugong.
I searched and found a related video, part 4, which devoted about 20 seconds to the plight of the dugong and reefs. I agree with the Okinawans when they say they want the bases out of their prefecture, but until they realize that their enemy is not the United States but rather — until this year — the LDP-controlled central government, they are being suckered into wasting their time directing their protests in the wrong direction.
Look at what the government has done with the environment on Honshu. Most beaches are lined with giant concrete tetrapods and there are no rivers that haven’t been concreted over, or so I’m told. When readers are directed to a video about the environment, it should at least mention the environment.