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HOME  > Past issues  > 2024 March 6 - 12  > Amid fierce protest from Okinawans, anti-ship missile equipment deployed in SDF base in Uruma City
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2024 March 6 - 12 [SDF]

Amid fierce protest from Okinawans, anti-ship missile equipment deployed in SDF base in Uruma City

March 11, 2024

“Don’ t turn Okinawa into a battlefield again!”, “Stop missile deployment in Okinawa!” Angry voices of sit-in protesters echoed throughout the harbor in Okinawa’s Uruma City early on the morning of March 10.

The sit-in was called for by a Uruma citizens’ group opposing the planned missile deployment. In defiance of the storm of protests, the Self-Defense Forces on this day at the harbor unloaded equipment for a surface-to-ship missile system which will be used by a new SDF unit to be deployed at the Ground SDF Katsuren camp located in the city.

The civil group’s co-head, Teruya Hiroyuki, pointed out that in Okinawa, which hosts 70% of all U.S. military facilities in Japan, constitutional rights to equality and to live in peace have been trampled on. He said that it is unforgivable for the Japanese and U.S. governments to use Okinawa as staging ground for war.

Okinawan Dietmembers, including Japanese Communist Party member of the House of Representatives Akamine Seiken, joined in the sit-in protest.

Delivering a speech in solidarity, Akamine criticized the Kishida government’s policy aimed at equipping Japan with a capability to attack enemy bases for going along with the U.S. strategy and turning Okinawa into a battlefield. He said, “Let us oppose the Kishida administration’s military buildup policy!”

Later on the same day, trucks carrying anti-ship missile equipment entered the GSDF Katsuren camp while more than 50 riot police officers cracked down on a protest action near the gate.

Past related article:
> Okinawa-elected opposition lawmakers urge gov’t to abandon plan to deploy SDF anti-ship missile unit to Uruma City [September 7, 2023]
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