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Tree cutters taken to court

Date Posted: 1998-02-28

The Chinen Village Board of Education has decided to take to a court a group of people belonging to a religious sect who cut down trees, Dec. 28, at a site that had been declared as a nationally important cultural asset by the government. The members of the group claimed that they had been acting on orders from their god. The group had cut down every tree on the 8,600 sq.m. site.

Chotoku Shimabukuro, the chairman of the Chinen Board of Education doesn't mince his word when asked for a comment. "That little forest was our treasure and a most important cultural property. These people are nothing but a bunch of vandals and should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law," Shimabukuro said. He added that the damage has been aggravated by the recent record rainfall which has washed a lot of soil away from the site. "Not only are the trees gone, but together with them birds and other wildlife. With this rain washing away the soil, it's very likely that the trees won't grow back and our forest is gone forever," he concludes.

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