Drunk United States soldier kills Okinawa man


This video from the USA says about itself:

Okinawa‘s Revolt: Decades of Rape, Environmental Harm by U.S. Military Spur Residents to Rise Up

16 January 2014

Nearly 70 years ago the United States took over the Japanese island of Okinawa after one of the bloodiest battles of World War II. More than 200,000 people died, mostly Japanese civilians.

Today the United States operates 34 bases on the island and is planning to build a new state-of-the-art Marine base, despite mass protests. A multi-decades movement of Okinawa residents has pushed for ousting U.S. forces off the island, citing environmental concerns and sexual assaults by U.S. soldiers on local residents.

Broadcasting from Tokyo, we are joined by two guests: Kozue Akibayashi, a professor and activist in Japan with the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom and the Women’s International Network Against Militarism; and John Junkerman, a documentary filmmaker currently working on a film about U.S. military bases in Okinawa.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

JAPAN: US marine held after drink-drive crash

Tuesday 21st November 2017

US TROOPS on the Japanese island of Okinawa have been confined to base and banned from drinking after a marine was arrested over the drink-drive death of a local man.

Police spokesman Kazuhiko Miyagi said Nicholas James-McLean was still three times over the limit when he was arrested on Sunday night, hours after the early-morning crash in the main city of Naha.

Witnesses said the marine slammed his lorry head-on into Hidemasa Taira’s van as the resident was turning at a junction. Mr Taira had the right of way and the US serviceman may have passed a red light.

The US military admitted that “alcohol may have been a factor” in the crash and ordered all commanders to lead training on responsible drinking and acceptable behaviour.

Okinawa residents oppose the US military presence on their island, which currently numbers 25,000. US troops have been responsible for numerous rapes and murders since first arriving at the end of World War II.

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New orchid species discovery in Okinawa, Japan


This video from Japan says about itself:

THE TROPICAL DREAM CENTRE in OCEAN EXPO PARK OKINAWA

Over 2000 orchids are displayed throughout the year. I went there in March 23rd 2012, taking photos.

From Kobe University in Japan:

Two new species of orchids discovered in Okinawa

April 10, 2017

Summary: Two new species of parasitic plants have been discovered on the main island of Okinawa, Japan. They have been named Gastrodia nipponicoides and Gastrodia okinawensis.

Two new species of parasitic plants have been discovered on the main island of Okinawa, Japan. The discovery was made by Project Associate Professor SUETSUGU Kenji (Kobe University Graduate School of Science), who named them Gastrodia nipponicoides and Gastrodia okinawensis. Details of these findings were published online in Phytotaxa on April 7th.

Plants’ ability to photosynthesize is often taken as one of their defining features. However, some species choose instead to live a parasitic existence, attaching to the hyphae of fungi and exploiting them for nutrients. These plants are known as mycoheterotrophs. Since they don’t engage in photosynthesis, they only appear above ground during the brief period when they are in fruit or flowering. In addition, many of the species are small, making them very hard to find. Even in Japan, one of the most advanced countries in the world in documenting its flora, many mycoheterotrophs remain unclassified. Professor Suetsugu is one of those involved in documenting their distribution and classification.

Professor Suetsugu discovered the two species in March 2012 on the main island of tropical Okinawa, during a joint field survey with independent botanical researchers Mr. NAKAMA Masakazu, Ms. WATANABE Tazuko, and Mr. WATANABE Hiromitsu. This group continued to examine the plants with additional support from independent researchers Mr. TOMA Tsugutaka, Mr. ABE Atsushi (researcher at the Okinawa Churashima Foundation), and Professor MORIGUCHI Mitsuru (Okinawa University Faculty of Humanities).

Their investigation revealed that both species are related to Gastrodia nipponica of the Orchidaceae family, but they can be distinguished by differences in the “lips” on their petals and in the column (an organ found in orchids that fuses the male and female parts, the stamen and the pistil).

The plants were recorded as new species and named Gastrodia nipponicoides and Gastrodia okinawanesis. G. nipponicoides reaches 3-6cm in height with 1-4 blackish brown flowers, each about 15mm long. G. okinawanesis is taller at 10-17cm, with 1-4 light brown flowers, each about 20mm in length.

Mycoheterotrophs live a parasitic existence within forest ecosystems. As parasites, they can only survive in rich, stable ecosystems with resources to spare. The existence of these species is evidence of far-reaching underground ecosystems that include a network of fungi that cannot be seen by the naked eye. Last year the Yanbaru forests were designated as the Yanbaru National Park, and the discovery of these two species further demonstrates the importance of this habitat.

Close US Okinawa military bases, demonstration


This video says about itself:

25 December 2016

Dozens protested U.S. military bases in Japan and called for the closure of U.S. bases in Okinawa. Demonstrators carried banners reading “Get Out! Marines“.

World’s oldest fishhooks discovered


World's oldest fishhooks, photo National Academy of Sciences

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

Fishhooks, oldest in the world, found in Japan

18 September 2016

Archaeologists have found the oldest fishhooks in the world in Japan. They were in a cave on Okinawa island and are estimated to be 23,000 years old.

The hooks are made from a sea snail‘s shell. From this discovery archeologists conclude that fishing techniques have existed already much longer than expected, and were used in more places in the world.

Eels and frogs

Okinawa was first inhabited around 35,000 years ago. Scientists wondered how people there survived all the time. The fishhooks have answered that question.

In Sakitari cave researchers found also remains of eels, frogs, birds and small terrestrial animals. They conclude from that these were also on the menu of the first inhabitants of Okinawa.

East Timor

Until now, scientists assumed that the fishhook was invented about 16,000 years ago.

They based themselves on a find in East Timor in 2011. In the northern part along the coast hooks were found which were made of shellfish.

Okinawa protest against United States military base


This video says about itself:

Japanese Protests at U.S. Military Base in Okinawa

20 August 2016

Police removed demonstrators that were blocking the entrance of Okinawa’s U.S. military base. They were protesting against the U.S. construction of helipads in a nearby village.

Murder, rape around US military base in Okinawa


This video from the USA says about itself:

US military contractor murders another Okinawa woman, Japan furious

20 May 2016

By James Tweedie:

US ex-marine held for woman’s killing

Saturday 21st May 2016

Abe ‘outraged and speechless’ at latest in string of atrocities

JAPANESE Prime Minister Shinzo Abe joined the governor of Okinawa in outrage yesterday at the latest murder of a local woman apparently by a US military contractor.

Former US marine turned civil contractor Kenneth Shinzato was arrested on Thursday in connection with the disappearance of Rina Shimabukuro on April 28.

Ms Shimabukuro’s boyfriend told police she went for a walk that evening and never returned.

Mr Shinzato was arrested after police found the victim’s body at a forest location he gave them, but he had not yet been charged yesterday.

However, local media quoted sources close to the investigation saying he had admitted strangling and stabbing the victim.

“I feel extremely strong outrage,” Mr Abe told reporters.

“I have no words to express, considering how the family feels.

“We urge the US side to take thorough measures to prevent the recurrence of such events.”

Okinawa Governor Takeshi Onaga said he was “outraged” and that the death of the woman broke his heart.

“As I look back at all the developments to date, I’m simply speechless,” he said.

US ambassador Caroline Kennedy said: “We will double our efforts to make sure this will never happen again,” while the US State Department said the military was co-operating with police.

Two months ago a US Navy sailor admitted raping a woman at a hotel on Okinawa and US servicemen have committed numerous rapes and murders of Okinawan women and children since occupying the island towards end of World War II.

The island is home to more than half the 50,000 US troops remaining in Japan since the war.

The litany of outrages — compounded by the US military’s insistence on trying suspects by court martial rather than in Japanese civilian courts — has fuelled strong opposition to the US military presence.

Mr Onaga has been among those leading mass protests against the planned relocation of US Marine Air Station Futenma from its present unsafe location in a suburb of the capital to a more remote spot, demanding instead that it be closed altogether.

This video from Japan says about itself:

20 May 2016

Protesters rallied in Tokyo, Friday, condemning the alleged murder of a 20-year-old Japanese woman by an American contractor working at a US military base on the Japanese island of Okinawa.

Stop killing Japanese dugongs for militarism


This Greenpeace video says about itself:

Okinawa, Henoko Bay, Save the Dugongs 2015

22 February 2015

Time is running out for Henoko Bay and the last surviving dugongs of Japan. Please help by adding your name:

Petition: www.greenpeace.org/henoko

———

H.E Ms Caroline Kennedy U.S. Ambassador to Japan,

Henoko Bay is the home of the last remaining dugongs in Japanese waters. It is estimated that there are as few as a dozen left in existence.

We understand that the concrete slabs have already started being dumped into the dugongs‘ primary habitat. We urge you to intervene and halt further construction until a sustainable solution is found which guarantees the survival of this last group of IUCN red-listed dugongs and protects coral reef and dugong’s seagrass food supply.

We stand with the local Okinawan people who have voted to elect a prefectural government which is opposed to building a U.S Marine base on this environmentally critical site in Japan.

You have stood up for environmental protection before. We know you can do it again.

Underwater footage copyright is owned by Diving Team Rainbow (c) 2015

From Greenpeace:

Save the dugongs

The last few Japanese dugong could be about to disappear. Henoko Bay in Okinawa is home to 262 endangered species including the very rare dugong, blue corals, sea turtles, rays, and all six species of clownfish found in Japanese waters.

But their marine home is under threat. Unless we take action now, the Japanese government is going to destroy Henoko Bay to create two new airstrips for a US military base!

The majority of people in Okinawa already see the insanity of this. The local Governor is also on side, but they need you to add your voice – to deliver a message, straight to the Prime Minister of Japan.

Will you join us?