Beach patrol complains about US litterbugs at popular island destination near Okinawa

Zamami Island's Ama Beach, which is frequented by green sea turtles who come to graze on seaweed, is next to a campsite popular with foreign tourists.
Zamami Island's Ama Beach, which is frequented by green sea turtles who come to graze on seaweed, is next to a campsite popular with foreign tourists.

Beach patrol complains about US litterbugs at popular island destination near Okinawa

by Aya Ichihashi and Matthew M. Burke
Stars and Stripes

CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — Local officials on Okinawa have appealed for visitors to stop littering on the tropical island prefecture’s beaches after complaints surfaced recently on social media about U.S. servicemembers.

The issue was first raised on Labor Day, Sept. 2, when the Zamami Island beach patrol posted photos of litter to Instagram. Village officials said the trash was left by both Japanese and U.S. military visitors to the island.

The trash was left at both the beach and the port and included Pabst Blue Ribbon beer cans, red Solo Cups and plastic exchange-brand water bottles typically sold only at U.S. military installations.

“Starting [Aug. 30], there were Y-plate cars parked at the site and many military-looking, young groups and families were there,” said Tatsuya Hata, chairman of Zamami Beach Patrol. “They all spoke American English and lived on Okinawa mainland. There were only a few Japanese groups at the site.”

Read more at: https://www.stripes.com/1.600112

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