Links

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Earthjustice: Lawsuit Seeks to Halt Construction of U.S. Military Airstrip in Japan That Would Destroy Habitat of Endangered Okinawa Dugongs

(Photo: Wikimedia Commons)
Lawsuit Seeks to Halt Construction of U.S. Military Airstrip in Japan
That Would Destroy Habitat of Endangered Okinawa Dugongs

Marine Base Threatens Survival of Manatee Relative

SAN FRANCISCO— American and Japanese conservation groups today asked a U.S. federal court to halt construction of a U.S. military airstrip in Okinawa, Japan that would pave over some of the last remaining habitat for endangered Okinawa dugongs, ancient cultural icons for the Okinawan people. The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, is the latest in a long-running controversy over the expansion of a U.S. Marine air base at Okinawa’s Henoko Bay. Preliminary construction on the base began earlier this year.

Dugongs are gentle marine mammals related to manatees that have long been revered by native Okinawans, even celebrated as “sirens” that bring friendly warnings of tsunamis. The dugong is listed as an object of national cultural significance under Japan’s Law for the Protection of Cultural Properties, the equivalent of the U.S. National Historic Protection Act. Under this act and international law, the United States must take into account the effect of its actions and avoid or mitigate any harm to places or things of cultural significance to another country.

“Our folktales tell us that gods from Niraikanai [afar] come to our islands riding on the backs of dugongs and the dugongs ensure the abundance of food from the sea,” said Takuma Higashionna, an Okinawan scuba-diving guide who is a plaintiff in the lawsuit. “Today, leaving their feeding trails in the construction site, I believe, our dugongs are warning us that this sea will no longer provide us with such abundance if the base is constructed. The U.S. government must realize that the Okinawa dugong is a treasure for Okinawa and for the world.”

The Japanese Ministry of the Environment has listed dugongs as “critically endangered,” and the animals are also on the U.S. endangered species list. In 1997 it was estimated that there may have been as few as 50 Okinawa dugongs left in the world; more recent surveys have only been able to conclude that at least three dugongs remain in Okinawa. Although the Defense Department acknowledges that this information is “not sufficient,” and despite the precariously low dugong population even under the most conservative estimates, the Defense Department has authorized construction of the new base.

The Nature Conservation Society of Japan reported earlier this month that it had found more than 110 locations around the site of the proposed airstrips where dugongs had fed on seagrass this spring and summer.

“Okinawa dugongs can only live in shallow waters and are at high risk of going extinct. These gentle animals are adored by both locals and tourists. Paving over some of the last places they survive will not only likely be a death sentence for them, it will be a deep cultural loss for the Okinawan people,” said Peter Galvin, director of programs at the Center for Biological Diversity.

Today’s legal filing, which supplements a suit filed in 2003, seeks to require the U.S. Department of Defense to stop construction activities on the new airstrip until it conducts an in-depth analysis aimed at avoiding or mitigating harm the expansion will cause for the Okinawa dugong. In April 2014 the Defense Department concluded that its activities would not harm the dugong, but that conclusion did not consider all possible effects of the new airstrip and ignored important facts. In addition, the department excluded the public, including local dugong experts, from its analysis.

For years many locals have protested and opposed the base-expansion plan for Okinawa, where 20 percent of the island is already occupied by U.S. military.

“Basic respect demands that the United States make every effort not to harm another country’s cultural heritage. U.S. and international law require the same,” said Earthjustice attorney Martin Wagner. “The Defense Department should not allow this project to go forward without making every effort to understand and minimize its effects on the dugong. That means fully understanding the state of the entire Okinawan dugong population, how it depends on the seagrass beds around the proposed airstrip, and how construction and operation of the base might harm it. To ensure that no relevant information is excluded, the process and all related information must be fully open to the public.”

Today’s lawsuit was filed by Earthjustice on behalf of the U.S. organizations Center for Biological Diversity and Turtle Island Restoration Network; the Japanese organizations Japan Environmental Lawyers Federation and the Save the Dugong Foundation; and three Japanese individuals.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Asahi: Unique, unknown species living in Oura Bay & Sea of Henoko ("treasure trove" of biodiversity) under threat of destruction, extinction...

A newly discovered species of a parasitic conch 
(Via Asahi, via Diving Team Snack Snufkin)

Erosion, landfill, and mass bleaching of coral has damaged much of Okinawa's coast. Over 90% of Japan's coral is in Okinawa; yet on Okinawa Island, the proportion of live coral is less than 5%.

10 years ago, 889 coral scientists from 83 countries, attending the 10th International Coral Reef Symposium in Okinawa, signed a resolution calling on the govs of Jp and the US to abandon their joint plan to construct a base at Henoko.

Coral reefs and lagoons used to be major source of cultural distinctiveness in traditional Okinawa, as with other indigenous cultures in the Pacific islands. Coral reefs are called the "rainforests of the sea" because they nourish a rich abundance of biodiversity. Worldwide, coral reefs only comprise 0.1% of the global ocean area, yet they contain a quarter of all marine species. Reef-building coral, fish, shellfish, sponges, and other marine life gather to create a unique ecosystem. They are of incomparable value for food and eco-tourism destinations.

Almost 400 types of coral form Okinawa’s reefs, which support more than 1,000 species of fish, marine mammals, including the beloved dugong, and hawksbill, loggerhead, and green sea turtles.

Erosion, landfill, and mass bleaching of coral has damaged much of Okinawa's coast. Over 90% of Japan's coral is in Okinawa; yet on Okinawa Island, the proportion of live coral is less than 5%. This is part of a global trend: coral reefs will become the first ecosystem that human activity will completely destroy by global warming, pollution and landfill, in just a few decades.

The beautiful and vital Sea of Henoko and Oura Bay ecoregion is an exception to the trend of dying coral reefs in Okinawa and the world.

Takao Nogami's Asahi article outlines the incredible (largely undiscovered) biodiversity that will be destroyed if the Japanese and US governments landfill and build an airbase over Oura Bay and the Sea of Henoko:
Researchers are raising new alarms about the ecological threat posed by land reclamation work planned for the relocation of U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma in Okinawa Prefecture in a bay where 10 new species have been discovered since 2007...

...these newly discovered species as well as countless others that still remain unknown could be destroyed forever by the construction work, which would not only reclaim land but also change currents and could adversely impact the coral ecosystem...

The unique structure of Oura Bay is believed to be the major reason many rare species live in the ecosystem...the entrance to the bay not only has a well-developed coral reef, but the area is also shallow. However, the bay becomes deeper, and that unusual structure is believed to allow many unknown species to survive there.

Two rivers empty into the bay and the river mouths are covered in mangrove forests and mudflats. Beyond that area is a wide variety of environments, such as seaweed beds, sandy bottoms, muddy areas and coral reef...the interlaying and connecting of such different environments, each of which has its own ecosystem...

Makoto Kato, chairman of the nature preservation committee of the Ecological Society of Japan, said Oura Bay was especially important because it contains the last coral ecosystem in Japan that has remained relatively undisturbed by human development.

"The presence of unrecorded species, such as huge sea cucumbers, shellfish and crustaceans, is but one example of how valuable that ecosystem is," said Kato, who is also a professor of environmental studies at Kyoto University. "While Japan does not have much in the way of underground mineral resources, its marine biodiversity is its true treasure. Unfortunately, political leaders in Japan do not realize that fact.

"The coral ecosystem and biodiversity of the Ryukyu archipelago is undoubtedly Japan's largest treasure trove, and land reclamation work in such waters would be an act of stupidity that would be irreversible."
Nogami's entire article is a must-read for all interested in marine life preservation.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Marine biologist Dr. Katherine Muzik diving at the Sea of Henoko, the best (one of the few still living) coral reef in all of Okinawa & Japan


Katherine Muzik diving at the Sea of Henoko and Oura Bay, July 2013

10 years ago, 889 coral scientists from 83 countries, attending the 10th International Coral Reef Symposium in Okinawa, signed a resolution calling on the govs of Jp and the US to abandon their joint plan to construct a base at Henoko.

Coral reefs and lagoons used to be major source of cultural distinctiveness in traditional Okinawa, as in other South Pacific islands. Coral reefs are called the "rainforests of the sea" because they nourish a rich abundance of biodiversity. Worldwide, coral reefs only comprise 0.1% of the global ocean area, yet they contain a quarter of all marine species. Reef-building coral, fish, shellfish, sponges, and other marine life gather to create a unique ecosystem. They are of incomparable value for food and eco-tourism destinations.

Almost 400 types of coral form Okinawa’s reefs, which support more than 1,000 species of fish, marine mammals, including the beloved dugong, and hawksbill, loggerhead, and green sea turtles.

Erosion, landfill, and mass bleaching of coral has damaged much of Okinawa's coast. Over 90% of Japan's coral is in Okinawa; yet on Okinawa Island, the proportion of live coral is less than 5%. This is part of a global trend: coral reefs will become the first ecosystem that human activity will completely destroy by global warming, pollution, and landfill, in just a few decades.

The beautiful and vital Sea of Henoko and Oura Bay ecoregion is an exception to the trend of dying coral reefs in Okinawa and the world.

Katherine Muzik via JT on May 2, 2014:
Having lived in Okinawa and worked there as a marine biologist for 11 years, long ago (1981-1988) and more recently (2007-2011), I have dived the entire Ryukyu archipelago from Amami and Kikai in the north to Yonaguni in the south. I can therefore assure you there is no comparable reef ecosystem remaining such as the beautiful reef at Oura. It is indeed miraculous that it is still surviving. Aki samiyo (“Oh my goodness!” in Okinawan)! There is no disease nor bleaching there! It has so far avoided the troubles that continue to plague and destroy coral reefs worldwide, whether in the Pacific or the Caribbean. (I am sure that you are quite painfully aware that reefs all over the world are dying, thus making any coral reef alive anywhere a truly sacred place.)

Oura Bay is a unique and spectacular ecosystem, including mangroves, a river, a sandy beach with crabs, numerous patch reefs in shallow water (where my specialty, blue corals and red sea fans, thrive), not to mention threatened dugongs and all of the species of clownfish in Japan, shallow beds of sea grasses beyond count, and, most amazingly, a very spectacular deeper reef, nicknamed the “Coral Museum,” with countless gorgeous corals...

Crushing these beautiful and quintessential corals just must not, cannot happen...

Last July, I returned to Okinawa from here in Kauai at the request of the Okinawan Environmental Network. I was asked to dive at Oura Bay and to lend my support to its protection. During my visit I met with the mayor of Nago, who is valiantly opposed to construction/destruction at Oura...

I am deeply honored to have met him [the Emperor] and the Empress several times at their palace during the time I lived in Okinawa. He is a marine biologist too, and since his goby fishes often find their home on the branches of “my” octocorals, I collected some for him to study...

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Sherry Nakanishi: "Music vs Militarism: OKINAWA"


"Music vs Militarism: OKINAWA" by BY SHERRY NAKANISHI

In total, 150,000 Okinawans died during the final battles of the Second World War, a third of the civilian population. The number exceeded the total of American and Japanese dead during the same period.

Things start off quite innocently. I receive two tickets from a colleague at school. On them is printed “Okinawa LIVE.” On the appointed day I arrive at the venue, Higashi Honganji, a large Buddhist temple in midtown Kyoto.

My husband, child, and I cross the vast pigeon-thronged gravel spaces of the temple precincts, reach the correct hall and are greeted warmly by monks...

The auditorium is large, and filled. Hundreds upon hundreds of people have come to hear the Okinawan message. On center stage, a man stands alone, holding a sanshin, the traditional Okinawa three-stringed instrument. “We can only fight through our music, it is all we have,” he says. And an hour and a half passes by as the truth of Okinawa’s recent history spills out, accompanied by intermittent notes played on the sanshin — sounds of nodding agreement.

The speaker is Chibana Shoichi, an Okinawan. Labelled an “anti-base activist” by Time Magazine [April/May 1997], perhaps he is more of a peace activist; one who out of love tries to protect the children, the people, the land, and the sea from being misused and ill-treated....

In ancient times Okinawa was independent, and known as Ryukyu Onkaku, the Ryukyu Kingdom. Before being annexed by Japan in 1865 this peaceful kingdom had no army. Looking into Ma-chan’s youthful face, I recall Chibana telling me how young Okinawans are picking up the traditional instruments, shamisen , jamisen, and sanshin, and proudly carrying on their culture. Okinawa has remained connected with its ancestral soul through its music, and this is how it has responded to an unimaginable military onslaught — with songs that are the spiritual poetry of peace, prayers for nature and for people.

We bow again, he departs; I am left holding the hope of Okinawa — the ancient teaching of the sanshin, the music and song of Okinawa; its gift to the people of Honshu, and the world.

I have a friend in Kyoto, a former soldier whose mind remains disturbed by his intensive military training. He knows he’s crazy, and travels the world sporadically, soul- searching for the truth. I tell him what I have learned about Okinawa, and ask for his response. He says:

This — as all things —
does not exist to be changed,
but for us to change.

His words send a shiver through me.
“I didn’t say it — it came from up there,” he says, pointing to the sky.
Read this rest of Sherry Nakanishi's beautiful essay at Kyoto Journal.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Charlie Madison: "War is always fought for the best of reasons...We will never end wars by blaming ministers & generals & war-mongering imperialists & all the other banal bogey."

"It's not war that's insane. It's the morality of it. It's not greed and ambition that makes war. It's goodness. War is always fought for the best of reasons. For liberation or manifest destiny. Always against tyranny and always in the interest of humanity.

So far in this war, we've managed to butcher some 10 million humans in the interest of humanity. In the next war, we'll probably have to destroy all of man to preserve his damned dignity...

We will never end wars by blaming ministers and generals and war-mongering imperialists and all the other banal bogey.  It's the rest of us who build statues to the generals and name boulevards after those ministers. The rest of us who make heroes of our dead and shrines of our battlefields...

We perpetuate war by exalting its sacrifice...It may be generals and ministers who blunder us into war, but the least the rest of us can do is to resist honoring the institution."

- The great American actor James Garner (1928-2014) as Charlie Madison in the great American antiwar film, The Americanization of Emilyreleased in 1964, the same year as Dr. Strangelove and Seven Days in May.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Tim Shorrock: "You don't have to even take sides to EMPATHIZE with the ordinary people victimized by fire bombing. It is a horrific & searing experience."

Our friend, Tim Shorrock, on Twitter: https://twitter.com/TimothyS
Tim Shorrock @TimothyS  ·  22h

You don't have to even take sides to EMPATHIZE with the ordinary people victimized by fire bombing. It is a horrific & searing experience.

Tim Shorrock @TimothyS · 23h

I grew up in postwar Tokyo, bombed for days in 1945. My step-mother lived through it as a kid. I've always had empathy with bombing victims.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Robert Jacobs on the 1954 Castle Bravo thermonuclear blast as the turning point in global awareness about nuclear test fallout • July 19, 2014 • Meiji Gakuen Univ, Tokyo

Crew member of Lucky Dragon Number Five, suffering from acute radiation exposure
The fishing boat was 90 miles from the Castle Bravo thermonuclear test explosion epicenter.

If you live in Tokyo and want to learn more about nuclear radiation and the history of the nuclear-free movement, don't miss Hiroshima City University Professor Robert Jacobs' talk about how the 1954 Bravo Castle thermonuclear explosion catalyzed global awareness about the dangers of nuclear fallout.  A sharp, humane, and engaging writer and speaker, the nuclear historian will be speaking on July 19 from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm at the International Conference Hall at Meiji Gakuin University in Tokyo.

Jacobs explains that during the atmospheric nuclear test explosion era (1945-1963) radiation became a part of the lives and bodies of people around the world, carried into their homes as radioactive fallout from hundreds of experimental nuclear explosions. However, it was not until the death of a Japanese fisherman who was exposed to radiation while trawling for tuna 90 miles from the epicenter of a US nuclear explosion at Bikini, a tiny atoll in the Marshall Islands, that people realized the real consequences of experimental nuclear explosions.

Just as the shock of 3/11 spurred people worldwide to give louder voice to their fears about radiation from nuclear power plants, nuclear waste, nuclear fuel and nuclear weapons plants, and uranium mines—the shock of the Bravo Castle thermonuclear explosion in Bikini spurred people worldwide to give louder voice to their fears about radiation from nuclear test explosions.

Castle Bravo thermonuclear explosion on March 1, 1954

Bravo was one of six thermonuclear (H-bomb) explosions between March and May 1954 on Bikini and one of 67 thermonuclear test explosions in the Marshall Islands spanning 1952 to 1958 . The formerly inhabited tropical atoll (ring-shaped coral reef that encircles a lagoon) is one of the 29 atolls and five islands that compose the Marshall Islands. The largest (15-megaton) American H-bomb ever, Bravo hit the tropical atoll with the force of 1,000 Hiroshima-sized bombs.  The explosion created an immense fallout cloud that covered thousands of square miles.

Bravo's fallout (radioactive dust from calcinated Bikini Island coral that resembled snow except it didn't melt) exposed over 1,000 fishing and naval vessels to high levels of radiation, causing significant exposures to crews. All of these vessels were outside the official exclusion zone.

The most famous of these vessels was the Japanese tuna fishing boat Lucky Dragon No. 5. Nuclear fallout fell on the boat and its crew for three hours.  When the Lucky Dragon returned to port three weeks later, the entire 23-member crew had to be hospitalized for acute radiation sickness; one crew member later died.

Roberts sums up, "This showed that you could be 100 miles away from a thermonuclear explosion and it could still kill you."

Suffering from nausea, headaches, burns, pain in the eyes, and bleeding from the gums, the Lucky Dragon crew returned to to their home at Yaizu Port, Shizuoka Prefecture, They were diagnosed with acute radiation syndrome and admitted to two Tokyo hospitals. Analysis of the fallout that fell on the ship revealed strontium-90, cesium-137, selenium-141 and uranium-237.

On September 23, Captain Aikichi Kuboyama, 40, died — the first Japanese victim of a hydrogen bomb. His parting message: "I pray that I am the last victim of an atomic or hydrogen bomb." Since then 13 other members of the crew died from cancer.

Lucky Dragon Number Five Captain Aikichi Kuboyama died on September 23, 1954.

We don't know the fates of the crew members of the other 856 Japanese fishing boats that were irradiated from Bravo and other nuclear test explosions in 1954. (The Asahi has brought to light some of the victims' experiences in "‘Forgotten’ victims of U.S. H-bomb testing dying in despair, hopelessness.")

Jacobs describes how Bravo's fallout cloud extended over 200 miles to the northeast of the explosion, creating a lethally contaminated area of 7,000 square miles of the Pacific. The Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) calculated that Bikini islanders (who had been located about 100 miles from the epicenter of the blast) were exposed to radiation at levels equal to that suffered from hibakusha 1.5 miles away from the epicenter of the Hiroshima blast. Many of the islanders suffered from radiation sickness, experiencing hair loss, low white blood cell counts, hemorrhages, and skin lesions. They and their descendants continue to suffer from cancers, miscarriages, and genetic defects.

Bravo fallout pattern 35 days after the explosion.

The Lucky Dragon's contaminated tuna was sold in Osaka and eaten. As with the post-3/11 experience, the Japanese public grew increasingly anxious about food safety as radioactive fish was found throughout the Pacific Rim.

Map of radioactive contamination of fish by the Bravo explosion. 

Lewis Strauss, the head of the AEC, issued a series of denials regarding the Lucky Dragon.  He said the lesions on the fishermen's bodies were not caused by nuclear radiation, but instead by the caustic burnt lime produced by calcined coral. He told President Eisenhower's press secretary that the boat may have been a "Red spy outfit", commanded by a Soviet agent who intentionally exposing the ship's crew and fish to embarrass the United States. 

However, nothing could keep the lid on what happened. Jacobs tells us the fact that the Lucky Dragon returned to Japan made it impossible for Washington to keep the massive levels of radioactive fallout secret although they had succeeded in doing this for three weeks.

Because the Lucky Dragon irradiation happened when Japan was about to introduce nuclear power plants from the United States, both Tokyo and Washington wanted to quiet the issue as quickly as possible. They, therefore, limited acknowledging the consequences of radiation exposure from the hydrogen bomb testing to the Lucky Dragon, and ignored the crews of other boats and vessels exposed to fallout.  Eventually the U.S. government paid "condolence money" to the Japanese government, but did not compensate the actual victims who were exposed to the nuclear test explosion fallout, not to mention the people who purchased and ate irradiated fish.

Jacobs explained in an email that the Lucky Dragon's return was a historical turning point: the thermonuclear blast's "terrible toll on human health and life marked the end of the previous containment of the issue of radioactive fallout" that Washington had been able to maintain for the first nine years of U.S. experimental nuclear test explosions.
The fact that someone located over 100 miles away from the blast epicenter died from radiation exposure led people all over the world to understand that the nature of the Earth’s ecosystem made it impossible to use highly toxic materials in one place without later contaminating many other places, raising ecological awareness.
Before Bravo, nuclear abolitionists opposed nuclear weapons in several countries.  After Bravo, "news about the irradiation of Lucky Dragon generated a large movement in Japan where it was seen that Japanese were the first victims of the A-Bomb, and then the first victims of the H-Bomb," said Jacobs. After the Bravo test, people began to protest against nuclear testing, and not just nuclear weapons. Japanese women opposing nuclear tests initiated a citizens' petition, the largest of its kind ever, signed by 32 million Japanese.  In August 1954, the first Conference Against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs was held in Hiroshima.

Bravo did the same in the U.S., long irradiated by nuclear test explosions in Nevada:
By the mid-fifties, “residual” and “lingering” radiation had given way to almost universal use of the word “fallout.” Maps were printed in magazines and newspapers showing the paths of fallout clouds from tests in Nevada over the continental United States. The Bravo test had opened the eyes of Americans about the dangers of nuclear testing, and how radioactive their world was becoming—what they would see with these new eyes would very much surprise them.
Fallout patterns from nuclear test explosions in Nevada. 

The irradiation of the Lucky Dragon inspired the original Godzilla, the story of fire-breathing sea monster, spawned by nuclear testing, that attacks Japan. The film was released on Nov. 3, 1954. It was the first of hundreds of similar films about the terrors of nuclear test blast radiation.

Bravo catapulted worldwide public opposition to atmospheric nuclear weapon testing, Jacobs relates:
By the end of the 1950s it was clear to anyone that paid attention that there was no place that would be unaffected if the United States and the Soviet Union were to engage in a total global thermonuclear war. The battlefield would be the Earth itself, and the people of every nation, whether they were at war or not, would be its casualties. This understanding did have some positive outcomes. A great deal of the environmental movement as it emerged in the 1960s and 1970s built upon the worldview constructed through the awareness of the global nature of the threat of radioactive fallout in the 1950s. Bravo was where this awareness was born.
Nuclear weapon states realized that the only way to quiet rising opposition to nuclear weapon testing was to halt testing in the atmosphere and in 1963 the major nuclear powers signed the Limited Test Ban Treaty that banned testing in the atmosphere and moved most nuclear testing underground.

In June 1976, the decontaminated Lucky Dragon Number Five (Daigo Fukuryu Maru) was restored and displayed at an exhibition hall in Yumenoshima Park, in Tokyo’s Koto Ward, open to the public.

This year, just after the 60th anniversary commemoration of the Bravo explosion on Bikini, the Republic of the Marshall Islands filed an extraordinary lawsuit at the International Court of Justice in The Hague, suing all nine nuclear weapons possessors for failing to eliminate their nuclear arsenals. The lawsuit explicitly demonstrates the connection of nuclear nonproliferation goals with humanitarian issues.

---
Sources:

"Managing Public Perceptions of Fukushima: First Emergency Response of the Nuclear Complex," Robert Jacobs, DiaNuke,org, March 10, 2013.

"Radiation as Cultural Talisman: Nuclear Weapons Testing and American Popular Culture in the Early Cold War," Robert Jacobs, The Asia-Pacific Journal, June 25, 2012.


"Nuclear Conquistadors: Military Colonialism in Nuclear Test Site Selection during the Cold War." Robert Jacobs, Asian Journal of Peacebuilding Vol. 1 No. 2, Nov. 2013.

"United Nations Report Reveals the Ongoing Legacy of Nuclear Colonialism in the Marshall Islands," Robert Jacobs and Mick Broderick, The Asia-Pacific Journal, Nov. 19, 2012.

Global Hibakusa (Robert Jacobs) on Twitter.

"Blast from the past: Lucky Dragon 60 years on," Jeff Kingston, The Japan Times, Feb. 8, 2014.

"The import of the Marshall Islands nuclear lawsuit," Avner Cohen and Lily Vaccaro, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, May 6, 2014.

"‘Forgotten’ victims of U.S. H-bomb testing dying in despair, hopelessness,"Hajimu Takeda and Yasuji Nagai, The Asahi Shimbun, Feb. 28, 2014.

The Day the Sun Rose in the West: The Lucky Dragon, and I, by Matashichi Oishi, University of Hawaii Press, 2011.

 More Info:

Nuclear Savage: Islands of Secret Project 4.1 (Documentary film by Adam Jonas Horowitz that exposes the decades of human radiation testing in the Asia-Pacific.  After the Cold War, declassified documents showed that, before the bombing,  the U.S. had organized  Project 4.1,"The Study of Response of Human Beings Exposed to Significant Beta and Gamma Radiation Due to Fallout from High Yield Weapons,” a medical study of the residents of the Marshall Islands exposed to radioactive fallout from Castle Bravo. The people of Rongelap describe an extreme level of suffering from recurring cancers, miscarriages, and birth defects that have affected multiple generations.)


"BRAVO and Today: US Nuclear Tests in the Marshall Islands," Tony de Brum, The Asia-Pacific Journal, May 19, 2005.

"Bikini and the Hydrogen Bomb: A Fifty Year Perspective," Senator Tomaki Juda and Charles J. Hanley, The Asia-Pacific Journal, April 25, 2004.

"Remember," Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner, Feb. 26, 2013.

"Marshall Islander Darlene Keju's Historic Call for a Nuclear-free Pacific and World," TTT, April 29, 2013.

-JD

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Henoko elders (childhood Battle of Okinawa survivors) continue to lead movement to save Henoko, an 18-year second Battle of Okinawa

Henoko elders express commitment to saving Sea of Henoko at June 28 rally. 
(Photo: New Wave to HOPE) 

Some of Okinawa's elected officials, including MP Keiko Itokazu
 join Henoko elders on boat in the Sea of Henoko during June 28 rally. 
(Photo: New Wave to HOPE)

Henoko elders have always been the heart of the movement to save the Sea of Henoko. Supported by many of Okinawa's elected officials, at all levels of government, these Henoko residents, all child survivors of the first Battle of Okinawa, have been in this second Battle of Okinawa for 18 years. They have dedicated their lives to saving Henoko for their children and grandchildren.

See more photos of the June 28 rally at Henoko at New Wave to HOPE's website. New Wave to HOPE is a local civic group in Henoko, made up mainly of young families.

Schoolgirl Wakana Toguchi, a member of the group, wrote a letter to Ambassador Kennedy last December that received widespread media attention. The letter reads:
Please do not build a new military base...Please, Caroline-san, come visit to see the beautiful sea of Henoko and Oura Bay. I am confident that you will love the sea, too.
Miss Toguchi is still awaiting a reply.