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Okinawa celebrates Coral Day this weekend

Date Posted: 2012-03-02

Preservation of Okinawa’s coral reefs is taking on new momentum with planned celebrations and activities surrounding Sango Day, also known as coral day.

Led by NPO Coral Okinawa, which will promote preserving coral reefs as new tourist attraction, Okinawa is hoping to attract a diverse range of tourists to join with commercial enterprises in supporting environmental service activities. A big target is motivating schools to commit to more student trips, bringing kids from across Japan to Okinawa.

The three-day Sango Day will conduct three events in support of its five objectives. Saturday, NPO Coral Okinawa will have a coral planting day at an ocean area. Individuals with a diving license may participate in the coastal Chibishi sea area. Entry fee is ¥1,500, which includes the coral planting and Guinness challenge, or an optional dive. The group wants to have at least 153 divers to form a human pyramid underwater at the coral planting area at sea, enough to challenge the Guinness record.

Designing and creating a coral seedbed on shore, on the ground, will be taught Sunday at the Ginowan Marine Support Center. The event-activity is open to everyone, with an entry fee of ¥3,500. A Coral Reef Preservation forum will be conducted Monday at the Ryukyu Shimpo Hall. Admission is free for the two-hour forum, which starts at 6:30 p.m.

NPO Coral Okinawa wants to raise recognition of Sango Day, which is March 5th, making everyone on Okinawa and throughout Japan understand coral’s sensitivity. Tourists are encouraged to participate in coral preservation activities, such as repairing coral and planting in sea areas, while the Guinness Record challenge will enhance awareness of both coral and Okinawa. The group is also seeking to brand coral preservation activities by incorporating eco-tour products, including eco-diving tours, MICE and school trips.

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