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 Policy Order Resolution
  December 21, 2015

WHEREAS: The U.S. Department of Defense is in the process of building a new U.S. Marine base in Nago City, Okinawa, Japan to replace the current Futenma base located in Ginowan, Okinawa, Japan; and
WHEREAS: The massive new facility, called "Futenma Replacement Facility," is currently being constructed in the Henoko and Oura Bays and according to the Congressional Research Service (CRS), is being opposed by most Okinawans for "a mix of political, environmental and quality of life reasons;" and
WHEREAS: Historically, the impacts of the U.S. military presence in Okinawa include dangers to local communities and the environment which include fires, aircraft crashes and emergency landings (average of 41 incidents per year), terrifying noise pollution that disrupts classes in local schools, and toxic contamination of land, air, water, and the ocean which have led to various affects people's health; and

U.S. military presence in Okinawa had led to an average of 150 crimes per year committed by U.S. troops against civilians, which include robbery, arson, homicide, and rape; and

WHEREAS: The U.S. military presence also led to between 7,300 and 10,000 Okinawan women to resort to prostitution in response to a stagnant economy and the subsequent sex trafficking of Filipino women when Okinawan women were able to move onto formal occupations; and
WHEREAS: The U.S. Department of Defense continues construction of the new facility despite a 2003 lawsuit brought forth by Japanese and American Conservation groups who are advocating to protect the 5,334 species of animals in Henoko Bay, 262 of which are under threat of extinction (particularly, the historically significant dugong--a cousin of the manatee); and
WHEREAS: Okinawans have nonviolently participated in large demonstrations such as rallies and marches and have repeatedly elected Nago mayors, prefectural governors, and a prefectural assembly that is opposed to the new facility which includes Takeshi Onaga, governor of Okinawa,who pledged "to stop construction using every means at [his] disposal;" and
WHEREAS: The civil unrest has led to the arrests of Okinawans and Japanese civilians who have protested at the Camp's main gate and is a violation of Okinawans' democratic right--namely, their ability to influence and reject the policies that will affect their lives; now therefore be it

That the Cambridge City Council join Okinawan citizens to oppose the U.S. Marine Base under construction at Henoko, aka Futenma Replacement Facility ("FRF"), off the coast of Okinawa Island; and be it further



That the Cambridge City Council joins Okinawan citizens to call upon the Government of the United States, through the elected representatives of the American people gathered in Congress, to ensure the following steps be taken in accordance with US laws and procedure.


1. The Department of Defense (DOD) undertakes an appropriate and sufficient "take into account" process as ordered by the Court under the NHPA. To do so would presumably require referral to an impartial, scientific, international panel, which should include representatives of Okinawan civil society. That panel would be required to consider evidence on the presence of dugong in Oura Bay and the compatibility of such presence with the uses to which the Marine Corps would intend to subject the Bay should construction go ahead. In camera proceedings by a government appointed commission do not qualify as "appropriate" and "sufficient."

2. The US Marine Mammal Commission reviews and comments on the DOD's analysis.

3. Congressional hearings take up environmental issues in the Henoko plan.

4. Congressional hearings that address the lack of democratic process over the siting of this base in Okinawa.

5. Pending satisfactory resolution of the above four matters, the Government of the United States should abandon base construction works at Henoko; and be it further



That the City Clerk be and hereby is requested to forward suitably engrossed copies of this resolution to Representative Michael Capuano, and Senators Elizabeth Warren and Edward Markey, as well as to Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter, Secretary of State John Kerry, and to the Okinawan activists who signed the statement cited above on behalf of the City Council. 


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