Investments in diplomacy can go long way
By E. Heinrich-Sanchez
Dear friends, sponsors and members “Specified Nonprofit” NPO Okinawa Ocean Culture & Environment Action Network.
I would like to thank the thousands of volunteers in Okinawa, from mainland Japan, the international community, US Forces personnel and their families, who have picked up tons of marine litter and trash from our beautiful island’s beaches. Special thanks to the divers and P.A.D.I’s Project A.W.A.R.E.
NPO Okinawa O.C.E.A.N. as of World Ocean Day is in hibernation until November 11th, 2015 during which the NPO will be re-fitted and re-launched with a new captain and crew.
The Ryukyu International Coastal Cleanup will be managed by the Okinawa International Clean Beach Club (OICBC) under World O.C.E.A.N. NGO.
United Nations recognized the World Ocean Day in 2008. Since 2010 we decided to visit the outer islands of Okinawa as we had done in 1994, to promote the “I Love Okinawa Campaign.” To bring attention to this special day, we toured sounding off traditional Shell Horns and meeting the press.
On June 8th 2015, my last action as the Chairman of the Board of our NPO was to get on board a boat at Tima port in Nago City, and head towards the Oura Bay area in Henoko, which is planned for a massive landfill. It is with great concern that I followed the news, and have seen the reports of Japan Coast Guard special units use increasingly violent methods of control including using their vessels in ramming and sinking those of the protestors.
With Yuzo Kayama’s famous hit song “Umi Sono Ai” (loved by all those connected to the ocean) playing over our boat’s loudspeakers. I appealed to those who are serving as they guard the planned landfill area.
In 2002, together with the 11th Division HQ of the Japan Coast Guard (Okinawa Div.) we co-founded the Okinawa Clean Coast Network (OCCN). Yesterday the Kudaka JCG Cruiser was anchored just outside the bay. I remember when this same ship came to Cape Maeda in support of our “I Love Okinawa Campaign’s Okinawa Cleanup YUIMARU.” The Okinawa Cleanup YUIMARU is the model that gave birth to the “ALL OKINAWA – Island Wide Beach Cleanup Campaign” with an average of 10,000 volunteers a year. As a first step in maintaining stability in the Asia-Pacific, it’s important that respect for democratic principles start here, on our island home.
I would also like to take this opportunity to ask the Chinese government to refrain from landfills of the ocean. For Japan to re-think the Oura Bay landfill and for both to… in the words of HIH the Crown Prince, “to give a correct account of history”
It is time for Asia-Pacific countries to have a joint and parallel history project so that our youth as “Global Citizens” in-the-making are on the same page.
Our NPO is an Earth Charter Affiliate and recommend that the four principles of the charter be the blueprint for diplomacy in the Asia-Pacific Region. From World Ocean Day 2015, I will serve as Acting Chief Navigator for the newly established World Ocean Culture & Education Action Network (World O.C.E.A.N.) NGO in order to focus my efforts on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) and the UNESCO 2015 Global Action Program Commitment on ESD launched June 8th 2015.
Thank you for your efforts towards a sustainable 22nd Century and the Blue Ocean Pacific Peace,
Chief Navigator, World O.C.E.A.N. NGO
Okinawa, Hawaii, Cuba, Canarias