THE RELATION BETWEEN ENVIORNMENT PROBLEMS IN OKINAWA
AND U.S. MILITARY BASES
THE REAL FACTS ABOUT THE CONSTRUCTION OF NEW AIR BASES ACCORDING TO
U.S. MILITARY LONG-RANGE PLANNNING
Okinawa is a group of subtropical islands south of Korea. From the 14th
Century Korea and Okinawa traded freely. We can see in ancient documents that
some people were exiled from Okinawa to Korea, and that Okinawan people saved
drifting Koreans, and sent them to their country back. These ancient Korean
documents reveal clues to ancient Okinawan life. We have had a relationship
for some hundreds of years, and this relationship continues to date.
An outline of the distinctive nature of the Okinawa islands and a short
history of Okinawa
The Kuroshio Current streams between the East Chinese Sea and the Pacific
Ocean, embracing the Okinawa islands. These islands are enclosed by coral
reefs. Coral surrounded islands are characteristic of Eastern Asia geography.
Beyond the sea of coral reefs, one discovers various sea life. The sea life
and colorful coral combine to create a beautiful spectacle. The Okinawan
islands were made from these risen corals called; 'the Ryukyu Kingdom' ,in
In 1609, Satsuma (one of feudal clans) invaded to Okinawa.
In 1879, the Ryukyu Kingdom was merged into Japan.
In 1945, Okinawa-sen (the War at Okinawa) occurred and 150 thousand people
were killed among the 450 thousand inhabitants.
Many Koran people also were killed.
In 1972, U.S. occupied Okinawa was returned to Japan.
War and military actions kill precious lives, and destroy environments.
Wars always rob human lives and destroy environments. However if defoliants,
depleted uranium bombs and so on, are used in any war, environmental
pollutions will continue to be destruction even after the war. Also in
Okinawa, as Maihyanli or Bieques, there continues to be the environmental
destruction caused by bombing practices. Moreover, there remain pollutions
the ruins of Philippine military bases. The environmental pollutions in
Okinawa started with Okinawa-sen, and after the Return in 1972, Okinawan
natural environments were destroyed to an even greater degree.
The problem of public investments destroying environments in Okinawa.
The Okinawa Island is a slender island, which is about 62 miles from tip to
tip. U.S. military bases amount to about 20% of this island. In response to
the burden of the bases, the Japanese Government makes a large sum of public
investments for the promotion Okinawa. But these investments do not help
serve the jeopardized island, rather they these cause continued environmental
The first case concerns clearing the huge fields of primeval forests. The
problem is that once time the trees were cleaned, the various plants were
exposed to hash wind and unable to develop. In addition, most of topsoil is
striped, so the land becomes sterile. Small grains of soil flow out from the
topsoil, and they cannot sink to the prepared pond. This results in a
blood-red flow of soil into the coral sea,
The second case concerns the broad paths for which primeval forests were
cleared. Such paths were broadened more than was necessary, causing them to
collapse whenever there is rain. In the cause of side ditches, small
creatures cannot move. As a result of these disordered developments, the sea
that is blue on a fine day, becomes red on rainy days and during rough
weather. The various fish and sea life of Okinawa cannot inhabit the coral
reefs yet. We must repair a great deal more of the destruction before the
character of the Okinawan islands is restored to its original state as a
Environmental destructions as a result of constructions of new military bases
In September of 1995, a group of U.S. soldiers raped an Okinawan
schoolgirl. After this incident, the demands for the adjustment & reduction
of bases by the Okinawan people grew stronger. There was much controversy
over the existence of the bases, so U.S. and Japanese governments, in
November of that same year, inaugurated SACO (the Special Action Committee
Okinawa). In less than 5 months after, that is immediately after the
conference of Hashimoto and Mondehle, both governments presented the SACO
interim report in which they stated backward `the restoration of bases, like
Futenma Air Base, under the condition of relocations to inside of Okinawa'.
Therefore in December of 1996, they released the final report (we call; `the
SACO Agreement' today).
I'm a member of the Okinawa Environments-Network, and in the summer of 1999,
I organized 'the People's Conference for Inquiring into the SACO Agreement'.
Our aim is the analysis of U.S. military long-range plans, during the
conference, we dug into U.S. military archival documents, and analyzed them.
We concluded that the SACO Agreement is a plan in which bases are apparently
returned, and truly `unified & strengthened & modernized'.
Strengthening faculties of bases as a foul trick against the demand of the
adjustment & reduction of bases
When we divide military lots which will be returned according to the SACO
Agreement, into 3 groups, we can find clearly the intention of U.S. Military
The first group contains the facilities of which modernization is clearly
aimed. This group includes some hospitals and housings which were built more
than 40 years ago, Sobe Communication Site (called Gaze of Elephant) which
will be returned after setting up a new site in the other base, Senaha
Communication Site, a part of Camp Lester and Foster.
The second group contains Naha Port and Futenma Air Station of which
restorations are explained as `the demand of Okinawan people'. But actually,
there is a U.S. military plan lurking behind these restorations.
The third group contains Northern Training Area, Aha Training Area and
Ginbaru Training Area, in which the U.S. intends to construct the training
area for the new-powerful aircraft; Osprey. These 3 groups are shown on the
map in the lower left corner.
In this article, I shall revealed that the relocation of the Naha Port to
the offshore of `Makiminato supplying base' in Urasoe city is founded on the
long-range plan of U.S. Forces. The U.S. archival documents deliver that
evidence. And secondly, I shall illuminate from these documents, that the
Marine Corps continues to demand new heli-pad for sometimes. In consequence
I'll prove that the deployment plan of the new-powerful airplane, Osprey,
linked to the restoration of Futenma Air Base.
The relocation plan of Naha Military Port was drawn up 34 years ago.
In March of 1965, U.S. Marine Corps landed at Danan in Vietnam. During that
time, Okinawa was the base for supplying and attacking.
The first fruit of our investigations was discovered in the library annexed
to Ryukyu University. We found the report regarding `research for industrial
lots and new towns in Okinawa', which U.S. Forces let an American private
company make at January 30th of 1968. According to this report, 1966 was the
season in which the plan of constructing the new military port offshore of
`the Makiminato Supplying Base' in Urasoe city, was drafted. And in this
report we can find the revised map of Makiminato Military Port and the budget
for that plan.
Furthermore, a member of our team found a secret telegram from U.S. Pacific
Headquarters to the Joint Chief of Staff in May of 1970. In it U.S.
Headquarters can be quoted as saying that `in spite of returning Naha
Military Port, our government must negotiate to Japanese government about
relocation to Machinato (Urasoe)'. (See the schema in previous page.)
The problem of realizing the airlifting of ammunitions in Camp Scwab and the
deployment of Osprey.
The most vital aspect of the SACO Agreement is that the Futenma Air Base for
the Marine Corps (see the picture lower-left) is returned, and that a
compensative base is made offshore of Camp Schwab (see the picture
lower-right). Let's clarify the background of this problem from materials
Henoko Power Magazine, Schwab Trainning Center and Camp Schwab, where 2000
marine soldiers are stationed, are put together in the Henoko area on the
west coast of Nago city. According to the document made in about 1970, U.S.
Forces planned for the construction of a new military airport in 1965.
We can find a noteworthy description of the U.S. Master-Plan for Camp Schwab
in 1987 which is quoted into "U.S. military bases observed on the low for
opening-information" (written by Umebayashi Hiromich).
This Master-Plan refers repeatedly to the necessity of airlifting ammunitions
by helicopters onto naval vessels which wait offshore of Camp Schwab. But
according to the inside safety-standard of U.S. Forces, `transportations of
lifting ammunitions' are prohibited within a 330 yard sphere from the power
magazine and within a 300 yard sphere from the housing area, so they cannot
airlift from this area onto vessels. Therefore, the Master Plan confronts
the realization of the long-term problem of airlifting onto vessels seeks
resolution. The left-hand schema in the next page reflects this Master Plan.
What is the resolution, you ask? And how does all this relate to the
restoration of Ftenma Air Base?
A clue is discovered in the deployment of the new-powerful `Osprey' as a
replacement for the transport-helicopter which U.S. Forces have used over
years. The faculty of the Osprey is 5 times at flying-range, 2 times at
velocity, 3 times at loadage, than the faculty of the current helicopter.
the deployment of this more efficient aircraft strengthens the function of
As the Pentagon approved the mass-production of Osprey in November of 1994,
I'm convinced, the U.S. Forces immediately set about the preparation of the
deployment-plan. At least, this is what we inferred. Our inferences were
confirmed as valid in the discovery of a home-page in which the deployment
schedule of Osprey was shown (http://mv22.sra.com/).
Because the schedule began from 1997 as a fiscal-year, it is sure that U.S.
forces decided the deployment in 1996. This is alarming in that these dates
fall with the time that Okinawan people demanded the `adjustment & reduction'
Presently, Futenma Air Base houses the 36th Marine Air Units, namely,
transport-helicopters, attack-helicopters and lubricates, is stationed. What,
then is the deployment plan for the Osprey in these 36th Units? The schedule
clearly states that they would let the Units `move'. That they would reform,
and would deploy 3 Osprey in 2006, and 24 in 2007. The question is; where
would the 36th Units move to?
The stationed Units in Futenma would transfer to Kaneohe Bay in Hawaii.
The deployment schedule states the transfer destination as `ASE K-BAY'. The
3 characters, `ASE' before `K-BAY', were confusing. We cannot recognize its
meaning. But after internet research we discovered that. One home-page
belongs to the `K-BAY' branch of an automobile-parts shop, and its address
`Kaneohe' in Hawaii.
Further in our research we discovered that the home-page of the alumni
association for the Marine Corps, and the alumni page of HMM 262
Heli-Company, both originate in Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii. We also noted that both
civilians and militaries abbreviate Kaneohe Bay as `K-BAY'. Therefore it was
concluded that in 1995 or 1996 when this deployment schedule was made, they
had a plan of transferring Marine Corps to Kaneohe Bay in Hawaii.
Vanished home-page about the deployment of Osprey
After I wrote of these observations in a weekly magazine called "Shukan
Kinyobi" printed at April 7th in 2000, the American home-page containing the
deployment schedule vanished. Did the Pentagon remove it? This is not only
strange occurrence. Until recently, whenever we searched through YAHOO for
`mv22 osprey marine', we could find over 50 home-pages. But recently we have
only come across six harmless pages. The other cannot be found. It certainly
In spite of making public the deployment of Osprey to 36 Marine Air Units,
the Japanese government has repeatedly stated that they have not heard of
deployment schedule' in the Diet at December in 1999. It can be concluded
that both the Japanese and American governments collaborated concealing the
plan of relocating the main party in Futenma Air Base to Hawaii, and
sidestepped it with the explanation; `the relocation of Futenma Base is the
demand of Okinawa people'.
The `project for using' of a floating base in the Pentagon
On September 29th, 1997, The Pentagon made reference to `DoD Operational
Requirements and Concept of Operations for MCAS Futenma Relocation, Okinawa,
Japan' in the last proposal. It further describes the faculty of the marine
floating base, and demands it from the Japanese government. It contains an
outline map of the marine floating base. In it, Camp Schwab is joined with
access-roads. We see at the lower-left of the Air Base, the separated
heli-pads for lifting ammunitions which is demanded in the Master Plan, and
at lower-right a planning pier for warships. The proposal reveals the virtue
of the construction of this marine floating base. Through it, the U.S. Marine
Corps would have a complex base that brings land, sea and sky together as
The conspiracy of the substitution is found in the statement, `the
restoration of Futenma is the demand of the Okinawan People'
Let's arrange some events before and after the SACO Agreement into a
chronological table. From January of 1996 (immediately after the introduction
of SACO) to February, we can note that the intention of restoring Futenma
Base was released publicly by the Okinawan Government. Continuously, the
meeting of Hashimoto and Clinton was held toward the end of February. Only
one and half months after from this meeting, the press conference was held.
1965 The construction by reclaiming work of an airport was
1994.12 The budget for mass-production of Osprey was approved
in the U.S. Congress.
1995 The project of the deployment of Osprey was started (we think).
09.04. Three U.S. soldiers raped an Okinawan schoolgirl.
10.21. Prefecture-wide rally against U.S. Forces
11.19. The SACO started.
1996.01.30. The Okinawan Government released the Action Program for
the reduction of military bases. (in which the first turn of restorations
in 2001 will be the returning of Futenma Air Base to Okinawa)
02.18. Governor Ohta manifested `the restoration of Futenma Base
is the most important issue' to Mr. Moroi.
02.23. The conference of Hashimoto and Clinton, touched on the Futenma
04.12. The meeting of Hashimoto and Mondehle, referred to `the
the whole of Futenma Bases'
04.15. The SACO interim report
12.02. The SACO final report
As previously stated, when the deployment was decided, Marine Corps planned
that the 36th Marin Air Corps stationed at Futenma Base would move to Kaneohe
Bay in Hawaii. However, the actualization of the necessary construction of
new heli-pad sites on this sea to lift ammunition from Camp Schwab was not
mentioned. The Okinawan people would never allow any new base.
Then, we can reason as follows. With the main party moving to Hawaii, the
S. military could take advantage of the idle state of Futnma Base. They were
able to commence the construction of the marine floating base in the name
They might direct their attention to using the energies of Okinawan people
who elevated in the demand of `adjustment & reduction' of bases, during the
SACO debates. As the first, they whispered to the Okinawan Government about
the possibility of `the restoration of Futenma Base', and as the second, they
let the Okinawan Government incorporate the plan of its restoration to the
first plan in the action program for the restoration of bases. Continuingly,
just before the visiting of the Prime Minister Hashimoto to U.S., they made
the Governor Ohta speak about this plan.
And, it was said that toward the end of February of 1996, the
Ex-Prime-Minister Hashimoto told to President Clinton that `the restoration
of Futenma Air Base was the demand of Okinawan people'. Therefore, by using
the action program of Okinawa Government and the Governor's speech, it might
be made the substitution of that `the restoration of Futenma Air Base was
demand of Okinawan people'.
Soon after, we started our investigation. We prepared the interpellations
for Prime Minister Obuchi and President Clinton. They contained eleven items
of interest in regards to this conspiracy. There was mentioned the
restoration agreements in accordance with the SACO Agreement and the
questionable motivation for these promises. In September 28th of 1999, the
Office of Okinawan Affairs in the Foreign Office which received our
interpellation, promised to answer after 30 days. But in spite of our
repeated demands, we haven't got to receive the answer from the Prime
Minister. And the American Consulate in Okinawa has continued to deny the
reception of the interpellation for President Clinton. Denying the reception,
not answering, or being unable to answer, proves the legitimacy of our
Let's demand the suspension of the environment-destruction by the
construction of the U.S. military bases.
The constructions of the bases which are explained as `the replacements' on
behalf of the restorations, are founded on the long-range plan of U.S.
Forces. They move against the current in which the worldwide peace is
demanded without any armed forces. Humanity suffers due to these conflicts.
However, in the sea of Henoko, dugongs inhabit, the subtropical coral reefs
exist. Our environment is suffers most of all.
Some ecologists point out that the construction of new seven Training
Centers in Yanbaru (the northern area of the Okinawa island) will destroy
precious natural ecosystem in Okinawa. In this forest, lies the Fukuchi Dam,
which is the biggest one in Okinawa, and a water jar of human life. If the
forest of these headwaters houses the Training Center for the Osprey, the
water will be polluted with oils and heavy metals. One must conclude that
Okinawan life and natural environment are threatened by the constructions
Find out the truth of the SACO Agreement, and judge for yourself !
After World War , we, the Okinawan people, became hopeful a peaceful life.
But in spite of our efforts, the military bases have continued to grow by
of `bayonets and bulldozers'. But the construction of the Camp Schwab and
Hansen are the last. Namely, we can continue to stop the construction of any
new base over 40 years. And we have never admitted the construction of the
base on behalf of receiving `the policy of promotion'. Let's look back calmly
I think that, the Governor Inamine, the Okinawan Government, and the Mayor
Kishimoto of Nago City must demand the opening files regarding the SACO
Agreement to the Japanese and American Government, and announce the
information to Okinawan people. Knowing the accurate information and judging
it correctly; are methods we should continue to follow in the pursuit of
justice for Okinawa. It is our responsibility for maintaining a peaceful life
for our children and our grandchildren. These are tasks not only for
Okinawan's but also for Japanese. It is crucial that the desires of Okinawan
people can reach to the Governor Inamine and other statesmen. We can make
Let's defend our life against any military action!
Let's deny the construction of new military base!
Peace in Maihyanli!
Peace in Bieques!
Peace in Okinawa!
Peace in the World!