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Wildlife Obstacles to Futenma Relocation Plan

Date Posted: 2001-02-02

As the governments of Japan and U.S. grapple to find an acceptable solution to the transfer of MCAS Futenma to a new agreed upon location in Henoko, Naha City, more hurdles keep popping up on the way.

An investigation by the Japanese Self Defence Agency has concluded that building even a planned helipad to be used during military exercises would endanger some 145 species of animals and other wildlife that are endemic to the area. The agency investigation covered Kunigami and Higashi Villages. Among species that would be affected are Yambaru Kuina and Noguchigera, both birds that are found only in the jungles of northern Okinawa and that are on the brink of extinction.

The helipad construction was planned to commence in 2003 but most of those involved agree that the construction will be moved to a much later date in the future.

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