Okinawa is an island at the southern most tip of Japan. About half the size of Hong Kong, its 1.4 million inhabitants include 45,000 US military personnel. In the 60 years since the war, 37 United States military bases have been constructed. They occupy nearly 20 percent of the total land area of the main island of Okinawa. Outlying atolls such as Tori Shima are used for live ammunition aircraft bombing practice, including reportedly, the use of depleted uranium. In addition to this there are 29 maritime areas and 20 controlled air spaces designated as US Forces areas. This pattern of development has been highly destructive to a diverse and relatively untouched sub-tropical environment. For years campaigners have staged a continuing protest to halt the construction of yet another American military facility in Henoko, on the East coast of Okinawa. Earth Report reports on the arguments and the possible outcomes.
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