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HOME  > Past issues  > 2010 January 27 - February 2  > Okinawa Defense Bureau sues anti-U.S. helipad villagers
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2010 January 27 - February 2 [OKINAWA]

Okinawa Defense Bureau sues anti-U.S. helipad villagers

January 31, 2010
The Naha Regional Defense Facilities Administration Bureau on January 29 filed a lawsuit with the Naha District Court against two residents participating in the anti-U.S. helipad sit-ins in the Takae district of Higashi Village in Okinawa, claiming that the two are blocking traffic.

Late last year in a lawsuit filed by defense authorities against 14 villagers participating in the sit-ins, the court acknowledged that their protests against the government plan to construct U.S. military helipads in their district do not constitute an obstacle to traffic but ordered two leaders of the anti-helipad actions to stop blocking a passage.

The sit-in protesters had called on the government to not take it to court again because if the government had not filed a suit against the two, the injunction against them would have been nullified.

Isa Masatsugu, who is targeted by the government agency, said, “It was the previous government that filed the lawsuit to exclude villagers from our anti-helipad actions in the first place. Is the Hatoyama government going to take over this case in the same way the previous LDP government did? In our understanding, the DPJ government has called for cuts in Okinawa’s burden of hosting U.S. military bases. We cannot accept the new government attitude of ignoring its own promises.”

One of local papers, Ryukyu Shimpo, on January 30 reported that contrary to the central DPJ, “The Okinawa DPJ is calling on the government to call off the lawsuit. The government is required to take the initiative in reconsidering and reevaluating the case.”
- Akahata, January 31, 2010
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