I recently read an article in the Saipan Tribune about Japanese tourist (Japan’s FM Nack5 Radio Group) cleaning a beach while here. It was supposed to be a feel-good moment. Good luck with that. I thought: Who wants to go on vacation to another country and clean their beach because they are either too lazy to keep it clean themselves, or are afraid to implement strong litter laws where fines would prevent it? After I read the article I drove around the island to have a look myself. The first beach I arrived at (Coral Beach) was a mess. Trash everywhere in and around every public structure and picnic area. No shock here but every other beach I drove to was also trashed. We should be ashamed to have tourist here cleaning up our beaches, but instead of shame we put it in the newspaper as if it’s a good thing. I searched the Tribune’s archives and found countless articles where Japanese or Korean tourist are cleaning a beach or memorial site. Oddly enough, no Chinese are lining up to do this.
MVA, Parks and Recreation, and the CNMI government as a whole should be ashamed of these conditions. Ever though we should post signs and pass anti-littering laws to prevent it, why do that when the Japanese will come here and clean it for free? You don’t have to look any further than our beaches to figure out why the Japanese stopped coming here. Japan is a very clean country and not all Japanese are going to be on the “Let’s go clean Saipan, feel-good” tour. Does the CNMI want those Skymark flights to last? Invest in keeping the beaches clean and implement and enforce litter laws.
Mica F. Cochran
Capital Hill, Isla Drive