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HOME  > Past issues  > 2019 April 3 - 9  > Anti-helipad protesters' tent in Okinawa's Takae removed while unguarded
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2019 April 3 - 9 [POLITICS]

Anti-helipad protesters' tent in Okinawa's Takae removed while unguarded

April 5, 2019

A tent hut used by local protesters and visitors opposing the construction of helipads for U.S. Osprey aircraft in the Takae district of Okinawa's Higashi Village was removed when no one was present.

The sit-in protesters' tent site was taken down sometime between 5 p.m. on April 3 and 6 a.m. on April 4, according to the Japanese Communist Party member of the Higashi Village Assembly, Isa Masatsugu.

The Okinawa Defense Bureau responded to an Akahata inquiry by stating, "The U.S. military removed the object placed within the area provided by the Japanese government to the U.S. We think that the U.S. military did what it thought necessary based on the Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement."

The tent hut, set up in front of the so-called N1 Gate of the U.S. northern training field, was an important stronghold for Okinawa's anti-base movement. From the tent site, tables, chairs, explanatory boards, maps, solidarity messages, flags, and banners as well as the tent itself were all confiscated.

JCP Assemblyperson Isa angrily said, "Everything the U.S. military confiscated were items sent from all over Japan in support of our movement. Under Japanese law, notice of demolition is normally given or discussions with users take place. But, we Okinawans have long been forced to accept everything the U.S. military does without question. This is the very essence of extraterritoriality."

Past related articles:
> An Okinawa village assembly adopts 1st resolution demanding immediate removal of US military helipads [June 22, 2018]
> Okinawa and Guam women rally to oppose US military buildup [January 28, 2018]
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