Discovery of stone anchor could delay Henoko plan further
Members of the Nago Board of Education and local research institutes came across an artifact that they believe is a stone anchor from a medieval ship during a survey on the planned site of the MCAS Futenma replacement facility.
The researchers conducted a 10-day survey of the site in February and March. The survey, mandated by law, is conducted on any planned large construction site to look for possible cultural assets.
Chinese and Okinawan trading ships used these anchor stones, known as “ikariishi.” According to researchers, if the relic is determined to be and anchor stone, it could provide insights into ancient maritime traffic in the region.
The discovery of the roughly one-meter long stone could mandate additional surveys and excavation on the area, and that could give Nago City officials an additional weapon to force a delay in the start of the construction they vehemently oppose. “If the relic proves to be a valuable archaeological discovery, we will request full-scale research into the surrounding area,” a senior Nago official said.
However, the entry to Camp Schwab for research would require permission from the U.S. military, and it’s unclear if permission would be given because an extensive survey could delay the construction.