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jpak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 03:30 PM
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Wildcat Tests Japan's Environmental Will

IRIOMOTE NATIONAL PARK, Japan (AP) - The steamy, hazy jungle thrums with trilling insects, singing frogs and the steady gurgle of rushing water as we cut through thickets of head-high ferns.

Prowling out there somewhere in the emerald underbrush is the big prize of our safari - one of the planet's rarest wildcats.

A cat so rare, it was discovered only in 1965. So threatened, only about 100 exist. So singular, it lives only on this 110-square-mile Pacific island. Yet the elusive Iriomote cat is more than just an endangered species.

Heroic efforts to save it from extinction symbolize an about-turn in Japan's long-tortured relationship with Mother Nature. Not only does the struggle underline the country's newfound determination to redress decades of environmental devastation at the hands of unbridled industrialization, it proves just how tough reversing the damage can be.

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LeftyMom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 03:31 PM
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1. I guess that means it tastes bad?
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loves_dulcinea Donating Member (384 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 04:23 PM
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2. i lived in okinawa for two years in the late eighties
Edited on Sat Oct-28-06 04:27 PM by loves_dulcinea
based on that experience, i have to say that the japanese people have no desire to save the little wilderness that remains.
the only reason that the mountains in the north of that particular island still existed at that time, is because the land was under the control of the american govt.
it was a beautiful place, exactly as you describe; steam rising from the jungle covered mountains.
i used to love scuba diving there, but it was hard to find reefs that hadn't been broken by the hordes of divers that had visited and raided. about the only environmentally smart thing that i heard there was when someone told a marine not to take a triton's trumpet. that there was a 1 million yen fine on the trumpet. had to do with the trumpet's relationship with the crown of thorns sea star (which eats living coral).
the stupidest thing i saw was the leveling of mountains on the coast to make more real estate (in the capitol city of nago).
all said and done. it was beautiful and would have been more beautiful about 2 or 3 hundred years ago, if not longer.
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acmejack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 04:48 PM
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4. I lived on Okinawa for several years 59-63
Naha was the Capitol then. There was also an AFB there where my Father was stationed, I am sure it was much different then, but there were still many places of jungle. They were filled with unexploded munitions from the war, I had a huge bullet collection.

There was a large Gun in a thick pill box on a high hill overlooking the sea on the Air Force Base but I understand it never fired a shot as the Americans invaded from the other direction. But I remember the annual dolphin slaughter the Okinawans conducted at the town of Hedo by herding them into a shallow bay and clubbing them.
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XemaSab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 06:16 PM
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5. There are a lot of extinct Okinawan birds
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gula Donating Member (619 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 04:39 PM
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3. Kind of ironic isn't it;
an environmental article in the Las Vegas Sun
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