Japan Press Weekly
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US Marines plan to replace Camp Schwab's barrier on Henoko beach
The U.S. Marine Corps in Okinawa plans to build a new barrier on the south boundary of Camp Schwab at the beach of Henoko in Nago City, Akahata revealed on September 9.
The coastline of Camp Schwab is the planned site for the construction of an alternative facility for the U.S. Marine Corps Futenma Air Station in Okinawa's Ginowan City. Local people are hostile to the replacement of the existing barrier as an attempt to contain the struggle against the new base construction.
Currently, a barbed wire barrier of about 100 meters long and 1 meter high is installed between the military facility and a civilian fishing port. Many ribbons on which messages are written in protest against the base construction are tied to the wire perimeter.
In response to Akahata's query, the U.S. Marine Corps issued a statement that reads, "The purpose of this new shoreline barrier is to provide increased safety for the local community and prevent injury. The current barrier, triple concertina wire (barbed wire) that is staked out along the boundary line to the water's edge, becomes hazardous during inclement weather conditions.
The completed project will allow for a more visually appealing structure, safer environment, better identification of property lines, and a barrier that can withstand inclement weather."
It also states, "The construction has been planned for several years and has been coordinated with Government of Japan entities."
"I've never heard of a resident being injured here. It is rather U.S. servicemen who caused troubles by trying to go off base from the barrier," said Gushiken Toru, a Japanese Communist Party candidate for the upcoming Nago City Assembly members election. "Concern for safety is just an excuse. Their real purpose in the redesign is to hide military exercises from residents," he added.
- Akahata, September 9, 2010
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