Study Program

We are thrilled to report that US for OKINAWA and Peace Boat
successfully completed our April 1-4 study program to Okinawa! It was an incredibly eye-opening, constructive and enjoyable program, and inspired all members to share the voices of the Okinawan people with others around the world. The program also gave us the chance to make new contacts / partnerships with various individuals and organizations, and helped to generate media coverage about base issue in 3 newspaper editions and 3 television news programs. Finally, the program gave us great ideas for more actions and events this year!

Here's a detailed report: 

Listen to the personal experience of the study tour participants

US for OKINAWA - Study Program to Okinawa

Are you interested in learning more about the U.S. military base issue in Okinawa? Do you want to help prevent the dugong from becoming extinct in Japan? Do you want to hear the reason for local people's opposition to military bases with your own ears? If you answered yes to any of these questions then please join *US for OKINAWA Peace Action Network* on an active study program of Japan's subtropical south !

US for OKINAWA joins local residents in Ginowan City, Okinawa in asking the U.S. government to shut down the dangerous Futenma Air Base located right in the middle of their city. The base has endangered the lives of the local residents through military accidents, and lacks a buffer zone around it to protect surrounding schools, homes, hospitals and businesses. The U.S. and Japanese governments have agreed that the base poses an unacceptable safety risk to Ginowan City, but the U.S. government insists that closing Futenma is contingent on constructing--and Japan paying for--a new military facility elsewhere on Okinawa island. Because nearly 20% of Okinawa is already occupied by U.S. military facilities, this demand does nothing to lighten the burden on the local people.

In addition, new construction plans include inundating the environmentally fragile bay around Camp Schwab, the Henoko district, with dirt and concrete to vastly expand the base at the expense of unique coral reefs and the feeding ground of a gentle ocean mammal called the dugong. The U.S. (as well as some Japanese officials) insists that the construction must go through, despite fierce opposition by the majority of residents in Henoko. We want to listen to the voices of the local people and help them be heard both in Washington and mainland Japan.

In cooperation with Peace Boat and local partners in Okinawa, US for OKINAWA recently organized a study program to Okinawa from *April 1st to April 4th*. The goal of the study tour was to witness firsthand what is really happening in Okinawa, and to help raise more awareness of the base issue both in mainland Japan and in the U.S. and other countries.
We visited U.S. military installations in Ginowan, meeting public officials in Ginowan and Henoko, listening to local testimonies, and visiting the beautiful bay of Henoko that is scheduled for destruction.

If you are interested in the study tour please contact US for OKINAWA at:[at] Please note that this program is not-for-profit, and costs are being kept to a strict minimum. Organisers are now in discussions with local partners to set the price of the programme, and more information will be available soon.

FALL 2010 (Dates Sept 22 - 26th)

If you love the ocean and love to learn through direct experience...this study program is for you. Please join us !

沖 縄・辺野古の海は、ジュゴンなどの海洋ほ乳類やウミガメが生息し、国際的 に絶滅の危機にあるサンゴが広く育つ海洋生物の宝庫です。この地に新しく基 地が建設されることになれば、大浦湾が埋め立てられ、マングローブなどの野 生生物に取り返しのつかないダメージを与えることになります。これは、一帯 の貴重な海洋生物多様性に対する重大な危機です。

「US for Okinawa」では、沖縄の状況をより深く知ることのできるスタディツ アーを計画しています。ぜひご参加ください!
* photo by Rob Stewart *

Okinawa Peace Project Study Program Outline:
* Learn more about the US Military bases in Okinawa
* Participate in our Ocean Conservation study program
* Scuba diving and Snorkeling exploration trip
* Canoe, beach clean-up, visit the mangroves
* Art & Music event in Okinawa

★2010年秋 沖縄ピースプロジェクト スタディプログラム★

■■ If you can join us, to book your flight, please try to arrive at Naha, Okinawa airport by 18:00 pm on the 22nd.
Cheap flights:

September 22nd - 26th



■■SEPTEMBER 22, Wednesday
Arrive at the Ginowan Seminar House in the evening. Welcome and introduction dinner, followed by a documentary (DVD) about the struggle by locals to protect Henoko.


■■SEPTEMBER 23, Thursday
Visit Kakazu no Takadai to learn more about the Battle of Okinawa and to view Futenma Air Base, followed by a visit to Kadena Air Base and information center. In the afternoon, snorkel at a beach in Henoko and help track dugong activity. Afterward, participate in a beach clean-up that will be followed by a visit to mangroves. In the evening, hear about Oura Bay from an underwater photographer and then enjoy a BBQ at a local guesthouse run by an activist opposed to new base construction.


■■SEPTEMBER 24, Friday
Diving (for those who are certified) or snorkeling and then a presentation by Inochi wo Mamoru Kai (Protect Life Society). After lunch, hold a COP 10 action at Henoko, then head to Takae to learn about protests by locals against the construction of new U.S. military helipads right near their community. In the evening, participate in a study session at Dugong no Sato.


■■SEPTEMBER 25, Saturday
Before diving or snorkeling, visit a hill-top lookout to view dugong habitat. After lunch on the beach, dive, snorkel or simply enjoy time on the beautiful beach. In the evening, participate in a candle action
in front of Camp Schwab’s main gate that is organized weekly by local activists.


■■SEPTEMBER 26, Sunday
In the morning , enjoy snorkeling or canoeing before heading back to Naha. The tour will end in the late afternoon in front of the Okinawa Prefectural office.

- This program is not limited to certified Scuba divers -
CONTACT Emilie McGlone at

The sea in Henoko is a treasure-trove for marine life, where the
dugong, a large marine mammal, and sea turtles live alongside
internationally endangered species of coral. In November 2009, 36
species, new strains of shellfish, were discovered in the area. The
construction of replacement facilities for Futenma Air Station means
that part of this area will be land filled in order to construct a new
base, inflicting grave environmental losses and damage.

There are only about 10 to 20 dugongs left off the coast of Henoko in Oura Bay, Okinawa. Dugongs are now believed to be an endangered species in Japan. In 2006, WWF Japan designated 2010 as "International Year of Dugong." This year, we hope to join them in raising awareness about the plight of this gentle mammal.

Please feel free to forward this to your friends !


US for OKINAWAは、NGO団体ピースボートやPangeaSeedなどの環境保全団体が協力し、沖縄の壊れやすい海の生態系とアメリカ政府による新しい基地建設の脅威について必要不可欠な認識を高めるために、オーシャンスタディプログラムを実施致します。



OBJECTIVE: As well as directly learning about the situation of the military bases in Okinawa, this study tour will examine dangers of the the Futenma Base which we are now seeking to be closed, meet people protesting against the proposed relocation of the base to Henoko in Nago City, and seek ways to strengthen solidarity of voices against the military bases from now. US for OKINAWA, together with other environmental and conservation organizations such as PangeaSeed, WWF, and Peace Boat seeks to create an Ocean Conservation study program based on the necessity to raise awareness about the fragile aquatic ecosystem in Okinawa and the threat being posed by the construction of new military facilities on the island by the United States government. Volunteers will work in partnership with local divers and water enthusiasts to combat these challenges through environmental education at the local and international levels, beach clean-ups, coral reef conservation, monitoring and data collection of the Okinawan dugong`s habitat and local ecosystem. We are committed to the conservation of the Okinawan land, water and aquatic life that is the livlihood of the people who inhabit the islands.

VIDEO BY GREEN PEACE about the Dugong in Okinawa

Organized by:

US FOR OKINAWA: A deliberate double entendre, US may be read both as "us" (you, me, everyone), as well as U.S. (reflecting the proactive stance of Americans in Japan who support a base-free Okinawa). US for OKINAWA was organized out of shared concern regarding the danger that the U.S. Futenma Air Base poses to the people of Okinawa, as well as the pressure exerted by the U.S. on the new Japanese administration to construct a replacement facility for the base in Henoko, an environmentally fragile area on the eastern part of the island.

『US for OKINAWA』は、在沖米軍基地の縮小と撤廃を求める新しいネットワークです。ここには日本に住み、沖縄のことを気にかけるアメリカ人、日本人、カナダ 人、ニュージーランド人、オーストラリア人、ウェールズ人、メキシコ人とその他の市民が集まり、都内を中心に活動を始めています。(USは私たちという意 味ですが、同時にここでは基地のない沖縄を目指す日本在住のアメリカ人たちを意味しています。)
『US for OKINAWA』は、米軍基地・普天間基地が沖縄の人々に与える危険性と、アメリカ政府が日本の新政府に対して貴重な自然環境が残る辺野古への移転を強く 要請していることへの共通の懸念から組織されました。辺野古基地建設はジュゴンの絶滅を招くばかりか、汚染・騒音公害・安全性の問題や(米軍兵による)犯 罪をただ県内の別の地域に移動するだけになります。

PANGEASEED: PangeaSeed is a Tokyo-based grassroots organization dedicated to educating and raising international awareness on the plight of sharks. Through volunteer activism and various mediums including art, music, film,and photography, PangeaSeed aims to create an open dialog with the global community to develop an understanding of the need to preserve and protect sharks and their habitat.

PangeaSeedは、地球を愛し、サメを愛する、ボラン ティアグループです。私たちは、社会の意識を高め、極めて重要な問題に光を当てるため、国や地域を超えたアート・音楽・映像を組み合わせたスペシャルイベ ントを企画開催しています。現在、誕生してから4億年以上の歴史を持ち、「生きた恐竜」とも呼ばれるサメが、フカヒレ料理の材料とするための乱獲や海洋環 境の破壊によって絶滅の危機に瀕しています。


Feel free to get in touch if you have any questions, and for further detailed information about the program.

Niheideburu, thank you!