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HOME  > Past issues  > 2021 October 6 - 12  > Nagoya high court rules dispatch of riot police to Okinawa for suppression of anti-base movements to be illegal
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2021 October 6 - 12 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Nagoya high court rules dispatch of riot police to Okinawa for suppression of anti-base movements to be illegal

October 8, 2021
The Nagoya High Court on October 7 overturned a lower court decision and issued a ruling in support of plaintiffs claiming that the Aichi Prefectural Police Department in 2016 illegally dispatched its riot police officers to the Takae district in Okinawa for suppression of local protests against the construction of U.S. military helipads.

In the court battle, the plaintiffs’ group composed of 193 Aichi citizens also demanded that Aichi Governor Omura Hideaki request the then prefectural police authority’s head to pay 130 million yen to the prefectural government in compensation for the expenses related to the riot police dispatch.

The high court ruling recognized that the police department chief’s act of deploying Aichi riot police squads to Okinawa without obtaining official approval from the relevant authority to be illegal, and ordered the payment of 1.1 million yen in compensation.

At a rally after the ruling, the plaintiffs and their lawyers and supporters shared the joy of victory with each other.

Lawyer Hasegawa Kazuhiro, the secretary general of the plaintiffs’ legal team, said, “The high court ruling not only pointed to the illegality of the riot police dispatch to Okinawa, but also recognized that excessive policing activities by the dispatched officers against local protests to be illegal. The court played its role as a watchdog organization.”

Plaintiffs’ counsel head Owaki Masako stressed, “The high court judgement which resulted from our legal fight in solidarity with Okinawans’ opposition will give strength and encouragement to the anti-base movements in Okinawa.”

Past related articles:
> Residents in Tokyo area: Their cities illegally dispatch riot police officers to Okinawa [December 21, 2016]
> Okinawa governor criticizes excessive policing in Takae [August 26 & 27, 2016]
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