From: Julian Bielewicz <>
Date: Tue, 14 Apr 1998 13:34:36 +1000 (EST)

I pass on the following message, received from the people in Japan still
struggling to preserve the few remaining local mudflats.  While I appreciate
that it will not always be totally relevant in geographical/species terms I
would hope that as ornithologists/environmentalists our specific interest
would transcend the obvious straits and take something like this onboard.

>X-Sender:  (Unverified)
>Date: Fri, 10 Apr 1998 11:29:47 +0900
>To: (Recipient list suppressed)
>From:  (Rick Davis)
>14 APRIL 1998
>1. April 14th shall be declared "Tidal Flat Protection Day"
>2. Cognizant of the value of tidal flats, we choose to protect and live
>together with tidal flats, so that no more of these precious ecosystems
>will be lost.
>On April 14th, 1997 at Isahaya Bay in the Ariake Sea (in Nagasaki
>Prefecture, Japan), 293 steel slabs were dropped into place, cutting off
>Isahaya Bay's 3,000 hectares of tidal flats from the sea. The moment this
>shocking scene was broadcast on national television, people were painfully
>struck with the unreasonableness of this kind of public investment, and the
>feeling that they were losing something valuable.
>        What people really mean when they say they want to "Save the
>Mudskippers of Isahaya Bay" is that they recognize the benefits resulting
>from the pursuit of life by the great diversity of wild creatures lying
>hidden in the mud flats (purification of the water, food for migratory
>birds, etc.), and the benefits of the tidal flats themselves (a spawning
>ground for fish, crabs, and other organisms which spend their adult lives
>in deeper waters, etc.).
>        Japan has ratified a number of international treaties such as the
>Ramsar Convention (Convention on Wetlands of International Importance,
>Especially as Waterfowl Habitat), bilateral migratory bird agreements, and
>the Biodiversity Convention. The international community expects Japan to
>live up to its promises to protect and wisely use its remaining important
>wetlands, particularly tidal flats. Moreover, in its National Biodiversity
>Strategy, the Japanese government has pointed to the need to preserve and
>protect wetlands.
>        In spite of this, and in the face of domestic and international
>censure, the Japanese government continues to embrace the contradictions of
>the Isahaya project and carry on with its construction, while pushing
>forward public works development destructive to natural tidal flat
>environments at Fujimae Tidal Flat in Ise Bay, Wajiro Tidal Flat in Hakata
>Bay, Sone Tidal Flat in Kitakyushu, Sanbanze Tidal Flat in Tokyo Bay, and
>the Yoshino River Estuary Tidal Flat in Shikoku. Tidal flat ecosystems are
>being threatened with extinction one after the other. If things continue in
>the direction they are now tending, it seems quite clear that in 50 years'
>time nearly all the tidal flat wetlands of international importance in
>Japan will have been wiped out.
>        The greatest issue of the twenty-first century will be the
>co-existence of humans with other living things. With this in mind, we are
>now calling for the conservation, preservation, and wise use of wetlands,
>particularly tidal flats, in Japan. Completion of the land reclamation
>projects threatening Japanese tidal flats will result in their irreversible
>destruction. These threats loom close at hand, and it is time for us to
>secure the survival of our tidal flats into the twenty-first century and
>beyond as a matter of principle, and strive to restore as far as possible
>our diverse tidal flats and degraded coastal environments.
>        We would like to commemorate the date of April 14th in perpetuity,
>and declare this day "Tidal Flat Protection Day." Every year, on or around
>April 14th, we hope to widen the circle of people around the country who
>are taking cognizance of tidal flats, getting to know them, and working to
>protect and live together with them.
>--- Sign On to Support the Tidal Flat Protection Day Declaration ---
>        If you support this "Tidal Flat Protection Day Declaration," please
>send your endorsement to the Isahaya Bay Emergency Rescue Task Force, Tokyo
>Office by post or fax. Please feel free to copy this statement and add your
>endorsement, or contact the Task Force office for further copies.
>Isahaya Bay Emergency Rescue Task Force Tokyo Office, 4-7-22-303
>Kudan-minami, Chiyoda-ku Tokyo 102-0074, Japan
>Tel: (+81) 3-3238-1951     FAX: (81) 3-3238-1952
>I support the "Tidal Flat Protection Day Declaration"
>Date:         /              /
>Related Events Around the Nation
>* 11th April (Sat.)
>"Tidal Flat Protection Fair 1998 in TOKYO"
>11:00 am - 4:00 pm (Rain or shine)
>Tokyo Yoyogi Park Outdoor Stage
>Information Panel Corner (Status of Japan's Tidal Flats & Other Wetlands,
>News of the Isahaya Bay Land Reclamation Project, etc.)
>Onstage Corner (Talks by Takano Hajime, Peter Barakan, others)
>Action Corner (Sign on to "Tidal Flat Day Declaration," etc.)
>Game Corner (Quiz Rally, Mudskipper Fishing Game, Seashell crafts, etc.)
>Contact: Isahaya Bay Emergency Rescue Task Force, Tokyo Office
>TEL: 03-3238-1951
>Admission Free
>* 12th April (Sun.)
>"Isahaya Tidal Flat Festival"
>10:00 am - 4:00 pm Isahaya City, Shirahama Asabashi
>Erection of "Bitterness Monument" while offering silent prayer at the time
>of day when the Bay was cut off from the sea (on 14 April 1997)
>Boat Tour of the Bay, Onstage Performances (Bands, etc.) Flea Market, Game
>Corner (Mudskipper Fishing Game, etc.)
>"Panel Discussion - Bearing Witness to the Year at Isahaya Bay"
>6:00 pm - 8:30 pm, Takashiro Hall, Isahaya
>Panelists (planned): Ando Takashi (Kyushu University, water quality),
>Miyairi Koichi (Nagasaki University, political science), Katayose Toshihide
>(Kansai Graduate University, architecture), Seyama Tatsuo (National Diet
>House of Representatives), others
>* 14th April (Tues.)
>"Isahaya Bitterness March" 6:00 pm onwards
>Isahaya City, Honmyo Riverside Field (5 minutes walk from Isahaya Stn.)
>Contact: Isahaya "Tidal Flat Protection Day" Steering Committee
>Tel: 0957-23-3927
>4/11 (Sat.)  9:00 am - 12:00 noon  Fukuoka - Wajiro Tidal Flat Bird
>Watching  Gather at Wajiro Station
>Contact: Yamamoto 092-606-2256
>4/11  (Sat.)  Fukuoka - Petition signature collection at Fukuoka Amanokami
>Arcade  Contact: Hakata Citizens' Alliance (see below)
>4/12 (Sun.) 9:30 am --  Chiba "Sanbanze Walk" Contact: Sanbanze Forum (see
>4/12 (Sun) 10:00 - 14:00  Nagoya - Fujimae Tidal Flat "Tidal Flat Detectives"
>Contact: Save Fujimae Tidal Flat Association (see below)
>* 4/14 (Tues.)  Chiba - Presentation of Petitions to protect Sanbanze Tidal
>Flat to the Prefectural Government
>Contact: Sanbanze Petition Campaign Network (see below)
>4/18 (Sat.)12:00 noon --  Kitakyushu - Cleanup at Sone Tidal Flat
>Gather at the Nukigawa River estuary  Contact: Save Sone Tidal Flat
>Association (see below)
>4/19 (Sun.) 9:30 -- Toyohashi - Shiokawa Tidal Flat Nature Observation at
>Sakae River estuary   Contact: Save Shiokawa Tidal Flat Association (see
>4/19 (Sun.) 9:00 am - 11:00 am Tokushima - Yoshino River Estuary Bird
>Watching  Gather at Yoshino River South Bank Sluice Gate  Contact: Wild
>Bird Society of Japan Tokushima Chapter (see below)
>4/25 (Sat.)13:30 - 17:00   Nagoya - International Dunlin Symposium  Fujimae
>Tidal Flat  Contact: Save Fujimae Tidal Flat Association (see below)
>Special Guest: Declan Troy, Alaskan Ornithologist
>4/25 (Sat.)15:00 - 17:00  Fukuoka - Wajiro Tidal Flat Cleanup and Water
>Quality Survey  Gather at "Umi no Hiroba"
>Contact: Yamamoto, tel: 092-606-2256
>4/26 (Sun.) 13:30 - 18:00 Fukuoka - Wonderland Hakata Bay Natural History
>Map Study Session, Higashi Citizens' Center Contact: Sasaki Akane tel:
>4/26 (Sun.) 9:00 - 15:00  Nagoya - Dunlin Count Workshop, Fujimae Tidal
>Flat  Contact: Save Fujimae Tidal Flat Association (see below)
>4/26 (Sun.) 14:30 - 18:30 Ichikawa (Chiba) "Changes to Japan's Coasts
>Originating at Sanbanze" Part I,  Ichikawa City Cultural Hall
>Contact: Sanbanze Forum (see below)
>Special Guests: C.W. Nichol and Former Environment Agency Director General
>Iwatare Sukio
>4/29 (National Holiday) 10:00 - 15:00 Nagoya -  Tidal Flat Wildlife
>Festival  Fujimae Tidal Flat  Contact: Save Fujimae Tidal Flat Association
>5/2 (Sat.) 9:00 -- Funabashi (Chiba) - Sanbanze Nature Observation
>Funabashi Seaside Park  Contact: Sanbanze Petition Campaign Network (see
>5/7 - 14  Nagoya - Panel Exhibition, Central Park Contact: Save Fujimae
>Tidal Flat Association (see below)
>5/10 (Sun.) 8:00 -- Toyohashi - Shiokawa Tidal Flat Bird Watching Sakae
>River Estuary  Contact: Save Shiokawa Tidal Flat Association (see below)
>5/10 (Sun.) 10:00 - 14:00 Nagoya - Tidal Flat Detectives (Demonstration &
>Observation, Discussion) Fujimae Tidal Flat  Contact: Save Fujimae Tidal
>Flat Association (see below)
>5/11 (Mon.) 13:00 - 16:00 Fukuoka - Nature Observation Guides Seminar,
>First Round  Wajiro Tidal Flat "Umi no Hiroba" Contact: Save Wajiro Tidal
>Flat Association
>5/16 (Sat.) 11:00 --   Chiba -   "Sanbanze Walk" Contact: Sanbanze Forum
>(see below)
>5/16 - 17 (Sat., Sun.) Tokushima - Bird Exhibition Tokushima Prefecture
>"Bunka no Mori"  Contact: Wild Bird Society of Japan Tokushima Chapter (see
>5/17 (Sun.) 9:30 --  Toyohashi - Shiokawa Tidal Flat Nature Observation
>Sakae River Estuary  Contact: Save Shiokawa Tidal Flat Association (see
>5/25 (Sun.) 10:00 -- Kitakyushu - Bottom-dwelling Creature Watching
>Gather at Sone Shinhata Bus Stop  Contact: Save Sone Tidal Flat Association
>(see below)
>Contact numbers:
>Sanbanze Petition Campaign Network (Ohama Kiyoshi)
>tel/fax: 0474-73-0423
>Sanbanze Forum Office (Onoo Seichi)
>tel/fax: 0474-54-1204
>Wild Bird Society of Japan Tokushima Chapter (Yamauchi Midori) tel:
>0886-25-7539Save Sone Tidal Flat Association (Yamamoto Tetsue)
>tel: 093-672-7315
>Save Shiokawa Tidal Flat Association
>(Fujioka Eriko) 
>Hakata Bay Citizens' Alliance (Ito Yoshino) 
>Save Fujimae Association (Tsuji Atsuo) tel/fax: 052-833-9887
Julian Bielewicz
Past President
Queensland Ornithological Society

12 Florence Street
Kippa Ring, Q. 4021

Tel: +61 7 3283 4921
Fax: +61 7 3889 4272

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