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Q45 基地は沖縄社会のどのような影響を与えていますか

 投稿者:Twelve Y.O.  投稿日:2012年11月18日(日)15時54分57秒
  通報 編集済
  基地の影響は多方面に及んでいますが、その最大のものは、環境破壊です。

基地の具体的態様は、演習場、飛行場、軍港、軍需物資貯蔵施設、通信施設等、様々ですが、自然破壊の様子が外からでも手に取る様に解るのは、演習場です。とりわけ飛行機から地上の標的に爆撃する演習や、遠くの標的を狙う砲撃演習などは、その最たるものです。1995年から1996年にかけて、鳥島射爆撃場(口絵②参照)に、千数百発もの劣化ウラン弾が撃ち込まれ、土壌や海水を汚染していた事が1年後に発覚しました。劣化ウラン弾は、湾岸戦争で使われていた高性能爆弾で、戦後イラクで多くの小児がんや白血病が発生したり、帰還米兵に湾岸戦争症候群と呼ばれる奇病が発生しているのは、劣化ウラン弾が撒き散らした放射性物質の為ではないかと疑われています。

現在、沖縄で最も激しい砲撃演習が行われている海兵隊基地キャンプ・ハンセンでは、長年砲撃の的にされ、演習に伴う山火事が頻発したり、強い雨雨が降れば地肌がむき出しになった山肌から濁流とともに押し流された赤土が海を真っ赤に染め、珊瑚をはじめとする海の生き物を殺し、痛め付けたりしています。

演習場と対照的に静かな基地が通信基地です。ところが此処でも、通信機器の保守、点検の為に使用される有害物質が地下水や土壌を汚染しているのです。1995年に、返還された米軍の恩納通信訓練所跡地が高濃度のPCBと水銀に汚染されている事が分かり大問題になりました。嘉手納基地近くの井戸水が突然燃え出した事もあります。航空燃料や飛行機洗浄剤に含まれる有害物質が地下水に伝わって基地の外まで流れ出したのでしょう。基地で使用する有害物質に汚染された土壌や地下水のクリーンアップは、アメリカ本国でも大きな問題になっています。

都市形成の歪みも大きな問題です。戦後の沖縄では、基地に合わせて町や村がつくられていきました。例えば、現在、基地撤去問題の焦点となっている普天間基地は、村役場、2つの国民学校、5つの部落と田畑があった戦前の宜野湾村の中心部の広大な地域を囲んでいます。この為、村民の多くは自分が住んでいた土地に戻る事が出来ないまま、基地のフャンスにへばり付く様にして戦後の生活を始めざるを得ませんでした。こうして普天間基地という空洞を抱え、道路も上下水道も全て広大な基地で切断され、公共機関の活動や市民生活に不便なドーナツ状の宜野湾市が形成されたのです。

Q45 HOW HAVE MILTARY BASES INFLUENCED OKINAWAN SOCIETY?

Military bases have affected OKINAWA in numerous ways. The most visible is the destruction of the natural environment. There are various types of military facilities in the prefecture: military exercise areas, firing ranges,airfields, military seaports, military storage sites, and communication facilities. Of these, firing ranges are where the destruction of the natural environment is most visible from beyond the perimeter fences. Typical examples of practices that negatively affect the natural environment include bombing practice using ground targets and firing practice using distant targets. In 1995-1996, over 1,500 bullets containing depleted uranium were fired in the training areas of TORI SHIMA(Bird Island)(see②).It was evident that the depleted uranium ammunition continued to contaminate the soil of the island and the surrounging seawater. This information was disclosed and reported only one year later. Bullets containing depleted uranium are high technology ammunition and were widely used during the Persian Gulf WAR. Many suspect that the sudden increase in child cancers and leukemia in IRAQ after the war was due to radioactivity from depleted uranium. Radioactivity from depleted uranium is also suspected of being responsible for the mysterious illness among GULF WAR veterans called Gulf War syndrome.

In CAMP HANSEN, one of the U.S. Marine Corps bases where live firing practice is routinely carried out at an intense level, exercises have caused forest fires. When it rains hard in the training area, a considerable amount of red soil (see Q33;22) is washed down mountain slopes  that have been bombarded over many years by live shells and explosives. The water saturated with red soil turns into muddy streams that eventually run into the sea, turuing it a deep red color, and damaging and destroying sea creatures such as corals.

In contrast to military training zones, communication facilities are quiet areas and it is hard to discern their effects on the environment. It is the case, however, that hazardous materials containing polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and mercury are used for maintaining communication equipment and that they contaminate the  soil and underground water. In 1995 the land on which ONNNA Communication and Thaining Center had been located was found, on its return to JAPAN, to be polluted by highly concentrated PCBs and mercury. The news immediately spread and became a serious problem.

There was also one widely reported incidents involving water pollution on KADENA Air Base (see 16,Q42). Water in a well near the base started burning. It was assumed that hazardous materials contained in jet fuel and detergent for polishing jet planes and engines were responsible. Cleaning up the land, soil and water contaminated by hazardous materials used on military bases has also became a serious problem in the USA.

Distortions in the physical layout and development of cities and towns are another frave problem. After World WAR Ⅱ, towns and villages were built avoidng areas occupied for military use. FUTENMA Air Station, for instance, now attracting attention because of questions about its removal, occupied the center of GINOWAN Village where there used to be two national elementary  schools and five communal districts and farmland. That is why most GINOWAN villagers were unable to return to the places they used to live in and were forced to restart their lives just outside of the fences of the base. It is also how GINOWAN Gity came to be shaped like a donut with its empty senter occupied by the base. Roads, water supply pipes, and a huge land area are thus fragmented by FUTENMA Air Station, and this has clearly caused a great deal of inconvenience to citizens and public services.(see 25)
 
 
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