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:



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?

Military base in Okinawa, Japan should go

This video says about itself:

14 September 2015

The governor of Okinawa has said that his prefecture will nullify an order approved to carry out landfill projects for a new US base. Governor Takeshi Onaga was elected last year on promises to fight the move. He says the approval given in 2013 by his predecessor for preparatory landfill work has “legal defects”, and that the local government will revoke it.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Okinawa governor seeks to halt building of US airbase

Tuesday 15th September 2015

THE governor of Okinawa prefecture said yesterday that he was taking steps to halt work on a new US military airbase on the Japanese island.

Takeshi Onaga, elected last year on promises to fight the move, said that approval given in 2013 by his predecessor for landfill work had “legal defects” and that he had begun the process to cancel it.

“We will take all possible measures to block base construction in Henoko and this is the first step,” Mr Onaga said at a news conference at his office in the prefectural capital of Naha.

The comments could set him on course for a legal battle with Japan’s central government.

US Marine Air Station Futenma is located in the city of Ginowan, part of the larger Okinawa City metropolitan area, and has been occupied by US forces since before the end of World War II.

Islanders oppose its presence not only for the noise and danger of flights but because of a string of assaults, rapes and murders of Okinawans, especially women and girls, by US troops based there and at other facilities

They oppose the move to a less heavily populated site at Henoko, which they say will simply shift the problems elsewhere, and want the base removed entirely.

Tokyo suspended the land reclamation work on August 10 to allow for a month of talks to reach a compromise with the Okinawan government.

But with no agreement reached, work resumed on Saturday despite fierce protests by residents.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said the reclamation work would continue as planned, calling Mr Onaga’s protest “regrettable.”

The Defence Ministry, which is in charge of the work, is reportedly considering the possibility of filing for an injunction if Mr Onaga revokes approval for the work.

Three-quarters of US bases in Japan and more than half the 50,000 troops are on Okinawa, which lies in the Ryukyu chain of islands that stretch south-west from Japan’s southern tip toward Taiwan, facing China to the west.

JAPANESE POLICE dragged away elderly protesters yesterday as work resumed on a new US military base on the southern island of Okinawa. Some 300 demonstrators, mostly pensioners, held a sit-in protest at the entrance to the site to call for the base to be moved off the island entirely. Others gathered offshore in canoes: here.

JAPAN’S militarist government took the island province of Okinawa to court yesterday over its objections to the unpopular US base there: here.

Protests against United States military bases in Japan

This video is called Okinawa protest at Henoko base.

By Ben McGrath:

Protests in Japan denounce US military presence

27 May 2015

Japanese protesters gathered outside the parliament building in Tokyo on Sunday to demand the removal of a US base on the island of Okinawa. Numerous rallies have been held recently, both on the island and the Japanese mainland, to oppose the US military’s presence in the country.

An estimated 15,000 people took part in Sunday’s protest, denouncing plans to move the US Marine Corp Air Station Futenma base to a new location at Henoko, which is currently being constructed. Futenma is located in the city of Ginowan, while Henoko sits along a less populated coast in Okinawa. Many people held banners reading, “No to Henoko.” They demanded the base be removed from the prefecture altogether.

One protester, Akemi Kitajima, told the press: “We must stop this construction. The government is trying to force the plan, no matter how strongly Okinawa says ‘no’ to it.” The demonstrators also expressed opposition to US plans to deploy CV-22 Ospreys to the Yokota Air Base in Tokyo.

A larger protest took place on the previous Sunday, when 35,000 people gathered on Okinawa to oppose the base relocation plan. The protests began that Friday and continued throughout the weekend. On the Saturday, demonstrators marched around the Futenma base and were joined in other cities across the country by approximately 2,600 others. Besides their opposition to the base, people shouted slogans, such as “Oppose enhanced Japan-US defense ties,” directed against Japan’s turn to militarism.

Plans to move the Futenma base have been in the works since 1996, following the 1995 brutal kidnapping and rape of a 12-year-old Okinawan girl by three US servicemen, which resulted in widespread anti-US protests. Other, less publicized crimes by US personnel have also stoked anti-US sentiment.

Okinawa, however, is on the front lines of any conflict with China. A majority of the 47,000 American troops stationed in Japan are on the island, strategically located in the East China Sea adjacent to the Chinese mainland. Okinawa plays a key role in Washington’s “pivot to Asia,” designed to surround China militarily and economically subordinate it to US interests.

There is little chance the Obama administration would agree to relocate the Marine base off the island, especially at a time when it is engaged in provocations with China. The relocation of the base, which was outlined in a 2006 agreement between the US and Japanese governments, has provoked persistent protests. The Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) came to office in 2009 promising to revise the agreement, but the Obama administration refused point blank to discuss the issue with Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama, and worked to undermine him. He was forced to accept the 2006 deal, then resigned in June 2010. His DPJ replacement, Naoto Kan, quickly reaffirmed his full support for the US alliance.

The current Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) government has not only made clear that the base relocation will proceed. It has stepped-up the remilitarization of Japan, acting in concert with Washington as part of the US “pivot” against China.

The recent demonstrations have been organized by citizens groups with ties to the Okinawan prefectural government. Governor Takeshi Onaga was elected last November as an independent, largely on his opposition to the Futenma base and its relocation. He is formerly of the ruling LDP and draws support from the conservative Shinpukai faction that left the LDP due to its support for the Okinawan bases.

Okinawans have for decades had a strained relationship both with Japan and the United States. Known as the Ryukyu Kingdom until it was annexed by Imperial Japan in 1879, the island saw heavy combat at the end of World War II, during which more than 100,000 civilians were killed. Following the war, Okinawa remained under direct US control until 1972, two decades after the US occupation ended in the rest of Japan.

United States military base in Okinawa, Japan damages coral

This video is about diving at the coral reefs around Okinawa, Japan.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Japan: Onaga demands air base plans halted

Tuesday 24th March 2014

OKINAWA governor Takeshi Onaga instructed Japan’s Defence Ministry yesterday to suspend work at the proposed site of a US air base.

Mr Onaga claimed a concrete anchor thrown into the sea for a drilling survey of a reef at the designated site had damaged coral.

He took office four months ago after winning an election over a predecessor who had allowed the Henoko site to be developed to relocate the base.

Mr Onaga said the prefecture needed to conduct an independent survey to assess the damage and demanded the ministry stop activity in a week.

The central government’s effort to gain Okinawa’s understanding had been “insufficient,” he said.

But Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said the survey should proceed regardless of the order.

The relocation is intended to address safety and nuisance concerns.

But Okinawans want the Futenma air base moved off the island completely and warn the construction would endanger marine life.

JAPANESE Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the governor of the southern island of Okinawa clashed yesterday over relocation of the controversial Futenma US air base: here.

‘No to US bases!’: Thousands march against military presence in Okinawa: here.