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Tag Archives: V-22 Osprey

Okinawa Outreach: “Save Takae! Voice your opposition to the resumed US helipad construction!”

The engaged scholars at Okinawa Outreach are asking for support from Americans in voicing opposition to the resumed, forced U.S. military Osprey aircraft helipad construction by the Okinawan branch of the Japanese Defense Bureau. At the beginning of this year, the Bureau accelerated the destruction of one of the best-preserved areas of Yanbaru Forest to make way for the U.S. military helipads. John Feffer, spokesperson Network for Okinawa, stated the following in February: We urge all parties to exercise firm restraint. We call on the Japanese and American governments to respect the democratic wishes of Okinawans who have overwhelmingly voted to prevent new base construction on Okinawa. It is an incredible tragedy the Japanese and American governments insist on pushing forward with a construction plan that would cause irreparable damage to one of the world’s most diverse biosystems. During a time of economic crisis and mounting deficits, it is shocking that both countries have embraced a plan that cuts education and social welfare programs while supporting a construction plan that benefits only the military-industrial complex.” The site the U.S. has chosen is a habitat for numerous endangered species unique to Okinawa, including the Okinawa woodpecker. Please read and respond to this latest plea for support for democracy, ecological preservation, and peace from Okinawa.

Okinawa Outreach: Citizens’ Network for Biodiversity in Okinawa demands the suspension of construction of U.S. military helipads in biodiverse Yanbaru Forest

Okinawa Outreach, a new blog edited by Okinawan scholars and activists, offers news, photos, & analysis directly from Okinawa. Its July reports describe efforts by the Citizens’ Network for Biodiversity in Okinawa (Okinawa BD) to obtain answers from the Okinawan Defense Bureau (the Japan Defense Bureau's branch in Okinawa) regarding U.S. military plans for training accident-prone military Osprey aircraft in biodiverse Yanbaru Forest. The Citizens’ Network for Biodiversity in Okinawa demanded a halt to the construction of helipads which the U.S. wants to locate in one of the most well-preserved areas of the forest, a habitat for numerous endangered species unique to northern Okinawa. Okinawa Outreach also provided updates to the Okinawan Defense Bureau's November 2008 legal action against 15 residents of the Takae community (including a child), who, since July 2007, had been conducting a peaceful sit-in protest against the helipad construction on the prefectural road near the construction sites. Many consider this frivolous litigation, a SLAPP (strategic lawsuit against public participation) action, intended to intimidate and silence critics). The next hearing is scheduled for the end of August.

Dialogue Under Occupation conference in Okinawa, Aug 4-8, 2011

Even if you can't attend, please check out the program, website, and blog for the Dialogue Under Occupation conference in Okinawa, Aug 4-8, 2011.

Okinawans Continue to Resist in Takae

John Feffer reports on the disappointing survival of the costly, accident-prone V-22 Osprey in the latest round of Washington budget cuts. Lobbyists for the long-criticized aircraft (called a "turkey" by Dick Cheney) won their fight for profit against advocates of sound government spending. Feffer comments on the American subsidization of the forced construction of unwanted U.S. helipads in Okinawa, where environmentalists and local democratic activists are engaged in a daily nonviolent struggle with military construction workers: "It's bad enough that U.S. taxpayers have to continue to support the care and feeding of this particular Osprey. Worse, we're inflicting the bird on others."

Network for Okinawa Statement/Press Release on Forced Military Construction in Yanbaru Forest & Henoko, Okinawa

The Network for Okinawa, following calls of protest from international peace, democracy, and environmental organizations, has issued a statement/press release on forced U.S. military construction in biologically rich and fragile Yanbaru Forest, Oura Bay, and Henoko, Okinawa.