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HOME  > Past issues  > 2012 July 25 - 31  > Takae residents and JCP demand halt to forcible construction of US helipads
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2012 July 25 - 31 [US FORCES]

Takae residents and JCP demand halt to forcible construction of US helipads

July 25 & 26, 2012
Local residents and Japanese Communist Party members on July 25 visited the Naha Defense Bureau, urging it to stop its forcible action being taken to clear out protesters and go ahead with the start of the construction of U.S. military helipads in the Takae district of northern Okinawa.

On the previous day, the local defense bureau forcibly brought construction materials into a planned construction site in Takae, following its previous work on July 19. It was the day after the U.S. forces deployed the MV-22 Osprey aircraft to Iwakuni City in Yamaguchi Prefecture.

On the morning of July 24, the defense bureau sent 2 large trucks loaded with gravel and several dozen construction workers to the construction site. While they were parking the trucks there without legal permission to take the materials onto the site, police tried to forcibly clear local protesters from the area.

JCP Lower House member Akamine Seiken and Okinawa prefectural assembly members pointed out that the construction workers used a crane to get the material onto the site with movement over local residents’ heads in violation of the Industrial Safety and Health Law. Defense bureau officials promised to abide by the law in future construction work.

One of the protesters on July 24 testified that while defense bureau staff and construction workers were encircling protesters, Nago City police officers were grabbing them by their shoulders to forcibly push them to the side of the road.

“It is the first time for me to see such brutal action since the protest started in 2007. They showed up without any advance notice, so we need more people to join us in our protest,” he said.
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