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HOME  > Past issues  > 2016 September 7 - 13  > Met with storm of protests gov’t has to airlift heavy equipment for US helipad site in Takae
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2016 September 7 - 13 [POLITICS]

Met with storm of protests gov’t has to airlift heavy equipment for US helipad site in Takae

September 10, 2016
The Defense Ministry’s Okinawa Defense Bureau on September 9 airlifted heavy equipment for the construction of U.S. Osprey helipads to the Takae district. Apparently, this aims to bypass local protests which have been taking place on the road to the construction site.

At around 2:30 p.m. on the day when a heavy rain stopped, a large helicopter made five flights to the construction site to airlift heavy-construction-equipment and construction materials.

Kitaueda Tsuyoshi of an Okinawa’s peace organization said, “The airlift clearly shows the Abe government’s intent to exert every possible measure to intimidate Okinawans from opposing the helipad construction. However, it also proves a serious delay in the government’s schedule in which the government reportedly promised the U.S. government to complete the construction by the end of February 2017.”

A 66-year-old woman who came from Ginowan City on this day to join the on-going protest said, “It is totally unforgivable for the government to push toward the construction with an iron fist.”

***

On the same day, 182 intellectuals including Nobel Prize writer Oe Kenzaburo jointly published a statement in protest against the Abe government moves to overpower Takae’s local protests in a high-handed manner.

Representatives of the 182 held a press conference in the Diet building.

Osaka City University Professor Emeritus Miyamoto Ken’ichi said, “Prime Minister Abe Shinzo in the international meeting arena has been proudly proclaiming that Japan is a ‘democratic’, ‘law-governed’, and ‘environmentally-advanced’ nation. However, what the government is doing in Okinawa goes in the opposite direction.”

Past related articles:
> Okinawa governor criticizes excessive policing in Takae [August 26 & 27, 2016]
> More than 1,000 people rally to block helipad construction in Takae [August 6, 2016]
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