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WWFJ urges Okinawa City to reconsider Awase landfill

Date Posted: 2002-06-13

The World Wildlife Fund Japan (WWFJ) Chairman Hakuo Hino paid a visit to Okinawa City Office, Jun 4., to deliver a letter to Okinawa City Mayor Masakazu Nakasone urging the city to take a second look at the controversial Awase tideland landfill project.

The city has wowed to press ahead with the project despite of wide opposition by various citizensf groups that have made several petitions to conduct a popular vote on the project.

Accompanying Hino was Atsuo Tsuji of Japan Tideland Network whose organization is also against the project.

Both organizations say that proceeding with the project would cause irreparable damage to the area ecosystems permanently damaging the food chain and the wildlife that depends on it. gThe cityfs plan to make the Awase landfill area a resort zone has very little chance of becoming a reality. Itfs rather a pipe dream that has no basis in current economic environment, but it will surely destroy one of the most valuable natural environments in Okinawa,h Tsuji says.

However, Okinawa City Deputy Mayor Takeshi Takara has much trust that the environmental concerns can be addressed properly. gThere are many different opinions on this project. Of course the city is protecting its environment. Thatfs why we are instructing all involved construction companies to be careful and protect the natural environment,h Takara says. He adds that the city is also responsible for providing jobs to its citizens and the project will guarantee jobs for years to come. The construction work on the site has already started.

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