Stop the New Construction of a Military Heliport Base in Henoko, Okinawa sign now

We understand that you will meet late this summer of 2005 to discuss the proposal to construct an offshore heliport base in Henoko, Okinawa, and will reveal the outcome of promises to reduce the burden of US military bases in Okinawa. We further understand that you are representing the respective governments at the table of this summit.

We are now writing to urge you to abandon the proposal to construct another military installation in Okinawa for the following reasons:

1.) Construction would not lead to the promised a reduction of burden? of US military bases in Okinawa, but would rather reinforce that burden.

2.) The overwhelming majority of local residents in Nago City, where Henoko is located, voted against construction of the heliport base in a referendum on December 21, 1997. Furthermore, Okinawans have made their opposition explicit through an on-going sit in at the proposed site for over one year. To carry on with the construction, therefore, would undermine local democratic principles and decision-making processes.

3.) Construction would destroy one of Okinawa's last healthy coral reefs, and lead to the extinction of the Okinawa dugong, classified as "critically endangered"? on the IUCN's Red List of Threatened Species, and listed as endangered under the US Endangered Species Act, as well as a significant traditional cultural icon for the Okinawan people, protected under Japanese, US and international law for its cultural value.

Again, we, the undersigned, urge you to permanently and publicly abandon the Henoko Bay heliport proposal during bilateral security meetings this summer.

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Latoya FitzpatrickBy:
Technology and the InternetIn:
Petition target:
US Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Japan Foreign Minister Machimura Nobutaka, and Japan Minister of State for Defense Ohno Yoshinori

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