Earth Report: Development with Destruction (2005)
Season 9, Episode 22
Only available in Canada, United States
The critics of a new U.S. military base on Okinawa – Japan’s 160-island sub-tropical archipelago – say it threatens coral reefs and a dwindling dugong population. The Base at Henoko has been ten years in the planning, and both the military and the authorities of Japan's southernmost prefecture say environmental impact studies show it will cause minimal disturbance. This is not a straightforward case of governments being heavy-handed. Most people in Okinawa want the air base in densely populated Futenma closed. A notorious rape by a U.S. solider and a recent helicopter crash have reinvigorated the protest. Some Okinawans question the need for another base when a staggering one-fifth of the island is already occupied by 38 facilities.