Stop the invasion of large cruise ships carrying over 5000 passengers to Nishikomi, Amami!
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This petition was launched in order to oppose the invasion of large cruise ships planned to port in the hamlet of Nishikomi in Setouchi Town, Amagi Oshima, Kagoshima Prefecture.
There are currently plans to build a port for a large cruise ship that will carry more than 5,000 passengers between 3 and 5 times a week to the hamlet of Nishikomi, a part of Setouchi located in southern Amami Oshima in Kagoshima Prefecture.
The hamlet of Nishikomi has a population of approximately 30 people. The coral stone walls remain beautiful in the place where "three gods watch-over from the sea creating a quiet serenity."
The population of Setouchi Town was 9,009 as of December 2017. The number of people expected to arrive on the cruise ships in one week exceed the entire town's population and grossly exceed that of a settlement of only 30.
The cruise ship anticipated to port is the "Oasis of the Seas," the world's largest cruise ship to date.
- Gross tonnage: Approximately 220 thousand tons Discharge volume: Approximately 100 thousand tons Total length: 361.0 m Width: 64.9 m Height: 72.0 m Passengers Capacity: 5400 (Max. 6300) Crew: 2160
- The large passenger cruise liner is geared toward the casual market (It is sold at ¥ 5000 ~ 8000 per night.)
- It is initially scheduled to operate once from March through November only, then increase to 3 to 5 times a week later.
- The main course in Asia consists of 4 nights and 5 days with the route being Shanghai ⇒ Kyushu ⇒ Amami ⇒ Beijing.
The specific reasons we are opposed to attracting this large cruise ship to Nishikomi, planned by Setochi Town are as follows.
●The briefing was only for one hamlet of 30 people.
Nishikomi has a population of approximately 30 people. The population of Setochi was 9,009 as of December 2017. As of February 8, 2018, any "briefing" for a plan expecting tourists in numbers over the entire population has not held except in Nishikomi.
●The various organizations submitting these requests have not even held an open meeting.
The town states that they received submission of requests from the various organizations, but none of the organizations have held any briefings, open meetings, or any kind of board meeting. The only evidence of written requests was known by only a small number of officials.
Even when we requested a briefing from these groups at a later date, they instructed those of us who had questions to inquire individually.
●Will the hope of Nishikomi "To continue this plan after preserving the nature, history and culture" be possible?
The town expresses the idea of developing day tours to various parts of Amami Oshima and wants to develop facilities to enjoy marine leisure as well as food and drink around the port.
In the "available" hinterland of the town, rare fauna and flora inhabit the natural forests which have been unspoiled for hundreds of years. This area is home to historical landmarks such as observation stations and barracks of the former Japanese army which still remain.
●Can the protection of the environment in Nishikomi truely be ensured?
Long idling from these cruise ships will cause pollutants to be discharged deteriorating the environment and ruin the forests due to acid rain. Additionally, this will cause adverse effects and may even eliminate the coral reefs as well as the rare fauna and flora that live within.
●The danger of the "Amami brand" and The greatest problem facing tourism in Amami as a whole.
The sewage that will accompany these foreign visitors, over 15,000 people per week, will be carried out by all municipalities of Amami Oshima including the Town of Setouchi.
Conservation of the village through which the bus tour passes, the road environment to that point, the preservation of the natural and living environment of the village will be done by all the municipalities of Amami Oshima including Setouchi.
●The fishing industry will surely be lost.
●There are many other concerns.
- Issues such as smuggling and illegal immigration could be occurring, causing concerns about the deterioration of security.
- Since accommodations and meals are all packaged in these cruises, there is little room for local companies to enter.
- With the majority of the tourists being foreigners, will local employment be able to overcome all the problems that will arise from language barriers?
- The construction of an area where an anticipated 300 to 500 will live counting the foreigners that will be employed as well as the local residents, the economy and the environment of the area will change.
- As the economy of these businesses are reliant on a single country, any changes in social condition could very likely bankrupt the entire community.
When a port is made for a large cruise ship that anticipates 15,000 passengers per week to this location, it can be assumed that numerous problems will occur.
More than 15,000 people a week are scheduled to visit a village of 30 people. No matter you slice it, this plan is beyond the capacity of this hamlet or even this town.
Today, tourists visiting Amami Oshima are looking for the unique experience of unspoiled nature and relaxed islands.
We would encourage people to rethink the attraction of cruise ships to the Nishikomi village once again so that people who live there, the visitors, and all the people can have a happy time.
Please sign our petition.
Amami Nature Conservation Association
Representative: Toshiya Tahara
23 - 6 Koniy Miyamae, Setouchi, Oshima-gun, Kagoshima 8941502
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