On the 28th, the Ministry of Defense stated that it was an “individual research activity” about the submission of a paper stating that the dugong in Okinawa was extinct in 2019 by experts from the Okinawa Defense Bureau of the Ministry of Defense. I declined to mention the validity of the content. It was revealed at a meeting held by environmental groups in the Diet.

Regarding the habitat of dugongs, he said, “The Ministry of the Environment has designated it as an endangered species,” and did not say that it was extinct.

The paper was written by some members of the “Environmental Monitoring Committee” established by the Defense Bureau to obtain advice on environmental conservation in connection with the construction of the US military base in Henoko, Nago City, Okinawa Prefecture. It has been submitted to an English scientific journal and is in the stage of peer review by experts.