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Lawsuit coming up soon to protect Okinawa’s dugong

Date Posted: 2009-12-17

Japanese environmental groups are launching a lawsuit against the Japanese government using American rules to try protecting the dugong, whose habitat is in northern Okinawa.

Takaaki Kagohashi, a mainland Japan attorney and member of an environmental law group, is readying the documents to file against the Japanese government as a follow up to a lawsuit already in progress by American and Japanese environmental preservation groups. Kagohashi’s suit could provide stronger leverage, as it goes to the “protection of the seed”, or ESA, on not only the dugong, but other rare animal species, as well. If it succeeds, he says, even rivers can become protected areas, and dams removed.

Japan’s Socialist Party, one of the three in the government ruling coalition, is backing the action. Party Chairwoman Mizuho Fukushima says “Prime Minister Yukiko Hatoyama is very interested to know about the dugong law suit, and how it affects Japan. The lawsuit will be effective to solving the Futenma transfer problem.” Attorney Kagohashi says “we lawyer groups are going to take stronger stance into the court in this case, not just for protecting dugong, but protecting all animal species.

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