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Dugongs are outside Henoko; new environmental report information

Date Posted: 2009-07-16

Environmentalists are ecstatic over newly released information from the Ministry of the Environment that dugongs have been spotted in the ocean outside Henoko as late as 2005.

The issue’s important as environmental assessments continue over relocating Futenma Marine Corps Air Station to a northern Okinawa site that includes Camp Schwab and Oura Bay. Environmental groups have long argued that the dugong live in the area, and must be protected. “We must protect the dugong and we must not exterminate the dugong,” says the former chairman of an environmental group, Yasuo Shimazu. “We have to investigate and make an assessment that proper research regarding the dugong was done.”

The Self Defense Force says its information, which dates back to 1999, shows there have been no dugong sighting confirmations outside of the Henoko area. Reports have confirmed the dugong in the Ginoza area. “On the map it says dugong were found outside of Ginoza,” the Self Defense Assessment says, “therefore we didn’t put the information outside of Henoko. We were not tampering.”

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