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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Pair to discuss plans for U.S. bases in Okinawa

Advertiser Staff

Two Okinawan leaders, in an ongoing effort that opposes expansion of U.S. military bases in southern Japan, will lead two presentations in the Honolulu area titled "Nuchi Du Takara: The Struggle for Peace and Life in Okinawa."

The events, set for 6:30 p.m. tomorrow at the University of Hawai'i-Manoa's art auditorium and 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Jikoen Hongwanji, 1731 N. School St., will feature Hiroshi Ashitomi, a representative of the Council for Opposing Offshore Base Construction in Henoko village; and Yasukuni Enokawa, a representative of the movement to close down Futenma Marine Corps Air Station in Ginowan City.

Among the topics to be discussed is opposition to plans to build a U.S. military base atop a coral reef. In 2002, Tokyo and Washington announced plans to move Marine Corps Air Station Futenma a major U.S. Marine heliport on Japan's southernmost Okinawa island to a less-crowded site in Henoko Bay on one of the area's last healthy coral reefs.

The move has attracted widespread opposition because the reef is home to more than 1,000 species of marine life, including three kinds of endangered sea turtles and Japan's last known population of an endangered sea cow, the dugong.

The presentations are being organized by the Hawai'i Okinawa Alliance. For more information, call 943-8484, or send e-mail to dok@riseup.net