Stop reclaiming the miracle sea of coral. We need your support now.
Stop reclaiming the miracle sea of coral. We need your support now.
[ 日本語 ]
Hello everyone. We are Terurin, a fishing lover, and Mory, a surfer who loves the sea.
We, the 'Uchinanchu Association for Preserving the Beautiful Sea for the Future', started this petition to raise voices against landfill of the 'Miracle Sea' near Naha, Okinawa.
The petition demands one thing:
Stop the reclamation of the west coast of Urasoe City.
"Teida Yui no Hama" known as the miracle sea is only 15 minutes from Naha and has escaped development.
Most people think of Okinawa as a warm tropical resort island with blue skies and seas. However, due to the concentration of the US military bases and related facilities in Okinawa, even 77 years after WWII, there is little land available for the people of Okinawa, resulting in reclamation of many beaches for development and the loss of coral reefs and mudflats.
However, there is a beach near Naha, the center of Okinawa, that has miraculously escaped development and has been left in its natural state. This sea, which stretches along the west coast of Urasoe City, next to Naha City, is a shallow sea (reef pond) surrounded by coral reefs, where many precious marine creatures have been identified, including not only fish but also shellfish, seaweed, sea cucumbers, and starfish. The local residents call this sea, which previously had no name, 'Teida Yui no Hama', to express their affection for it.
The local Minatogawa Primary School holds annual observation sessions there and the local administration actively organizes regular nature observation events for local residents. This is a very valuable sea where children can easily interact with nature.
On weekends, this precious sea just on the outskirts of Naha turns into a popular beach where many locals like us visit to enjoy fishing, observe sea creatures, play on the shore with their families, and relax and watch the sun set.
Can you imagine this beautiful sea being filled with concrete?
However, this sea rich in nature is soon to be filled with concrete. Coral reefs will be destroyed, and plans to build breakwaters to accommodate the US military port and create artificial beaches for resort development are underway.
The US military port in Naha City is to be returned to Okinawa and instead, a new military port is to be built by destroying this beach.
Many Okinawans want developments and land reclamations to stop. However, the current situation is that Okinawa Prefecture, Naha and Urasoe cities have accepted the national government's proposal for the relocation of Naha Military Port and the proposed reclamation of the west coast of Urasoe. Governor Denny Tamaki, who is strongly opposed to the construction of a new US base in Henoko, has for some reason accepted the relocation of the Naha Military Port to this area.
Why should a military port be built on such a scenic and beautiful coral reef? Why is it necessary to relocate the military port in the first place?
Unfortunately, there has been no satisfactory and detailed explanation from the national government or the Prefecture to the people in Okinawa.
Follow "Conserve and sustainably use the oceans" in SDGs.
Japan is committed to the SDGs through public-private partnerships, and the 14th goal is "Conserve and sustainably use the oceans". Thus, destroying the precious coral reefs, burying them and turning them into artificial beaches is unacceptable. In order to leave this rich natural sea to our future children, we, who are living in this moment, must raise our voices, protect the sea and nurture it to pass it on to the future.
We strongly protest and oppose the reclamation of this " miracle sea" on the west coast of Urasoe, and we ask for your support and help in many ways.
Twitter demonstration against land reclamation on the west coast of Urasoe.
Twitter was the catalyst for our strong interest in opposing the landfill issue. Casually scrolling through Twitter, we found a few voices wishing that the sea on the west coast of Urasoe would not be reclaimed, such as "Let's protect the beach", "Oppose the reclamation of Urasoe" and "Don't destroy this nature-rich sea". However, we also saw comments saying: 'It can't be helped, it's a decision made by the national and prefectural governments. Land reclamation is necessary for economic development". There were also some posts in a mood of surrender, saying that it is too late to cancel the project.
As we looked at these tweets, we wondered if the reclamation of that sea could somehow be stopped. “Is there really no way to stop this?"
We couldn't stay silent any longer.
We carried out a Twitter demonstration in the evening between October 29th to November 5th, and the response was more than we had expected.
Happily, on the first day of the Twitter demo, "#oppose Urasoe West Coast Landfill” ( #浦添西海岸埋め立て反対 ) became a trending topic.
After that, we held a daily Twitter demo for a week, and it trended every day, connecting many people, both inside and outside the prefecture, and giving us a sense of courage and empowerment.
However, no matter how much we spread our voices on Twitter, tweets are not enough to stop the land reclamation. Thus, we decided to start this online petition to collect the people’s voices as signatures and make them even louder,.
We would like to ask everyone who reads this petition to support and spread the word to as many people as possible.
Your signatures will be sent to the Governor of Okinawa, the Mayor of Naha and the Mayor of Urasoe.
Please share your opposition to the landfill on Twitter, Instagram and other social media with the hashtag #StopUrasoeWestCoastLandfill.
Finally, we believe it is not the national government, the prefectural governor or the mayor who decides on the relocation or reclamation of Naha Military Port. The owners and shareholders of this country are us, the people who live in this country. We are sovereign citizens, thus we believe that politics can be changed if we seriously and sincerely raise our voices, get the public opinion on our side and oppose it as one mass.
Let us raise our voices against land reclamation until the end. Please lend us your strength.
Messages received (extracted from Twitter)
- I don't want any more landfill!
- I hear the news that coral is dying all over the world and you want to destroy the sea?
- Let's protect, preserve and hand over the Chura Sea to the next generation.
- What nature has created is an art that has been accumulated for thousands of years.
- Once destroyed, this sea will never return.
- We don't need any more military ports or artificial beaches.
- I can't believe they are throwing soil into this sea!
This shallow sea is the cradle of life. It is a miracle sea that has been spared overdevelopment by the US military base despite it being located on the outskirts of Naha.
- I don't think we should allow this sea to be reclaimed for an unnecessary alternative base for the Naha military port. Everyone, let's raise our voices!
- Preserving the beautiful coral sea on the west coast of Urasoe is worth a billion times more than building a military port!