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Tidelands opponents renew opposition to development

Date Posted: 2007-11-30

With a deadline for decisions looming by the end of December on whether to continue with Awase area tidelands reclamation and development, opponents have turned out to again demand the projects be stopped.

Okinawa City’s mayor says she’ll “decide what to do about this matter by the end of the year”, and the Committee Members for Protection of Awase Tidelands” are asking Mitsuko Tomon to end development efforts. The project, The East Coast Seashore Development, involves extensive land reclamation in the tidelands, and also near Nakagusuku Bay Harbor.

Okinawa City planning, which began before Tomon took office as mayor, calls for land development that would include a large hotel and business offices, while trying to promote the city. Okinawa City must come up with ¥27.1 billion to accomplish the project.

Opponents, who met Monday at the Okinawa City Agriculture Study Center, called for an end to the development. “Let’s stop construction and reclamation work, and rethink it and review the whole idea,” said Teruko Kuwae, leader of the opposition group. “Important, tiny animals are crying because of the tidelands that will be no more,” Kuwae said, “and they’ve lost their place. We want these important animals to live forever to show our children. Nature and animals should be protected for the future.”

The Committee Members for Protection of Awase Tidelands is calling on the Japanese government to put the focus on returning the lands to their natural state.

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