Japan Press Weekly
[Advanced search]
Past issues
Special issues
Fact Box
Feature Articles
Mail to editor
Mail magazine
HOME  > Past issues  > 2013 June 26 - July 2  > High court rules resident’s protest as ‘obstructing’ US helipad construction
> List of Past issues
Bookmark and Share
2013 June 26 - July 2 [OKINAWA]

High court rules resident’s protest as ‘obstructing’ US helipad construction

June 26, 2013
A high court on June 25 supported a lower court ruling finding a resident guilty of “interfering” in the construction of U.S. military helipads in the Takae district in northern Okinawa.

The resident sued by the national government is Isa Masatsugu, co-representative of a local residents’ group opposing the construction of military facilities in their neighborhood. He is determined to appeal the latest ruling made by the Naha Branch of the Fukuoka High Court.

In 2008, the Naha Defense Bureau filed a temporary injunction against 15 Takae residents who have conducted a sit-in protest against the planned construction since 2007.

Following the Naha District Court’s decision to charge two of them for “obstruction of traffic,” the local defense bureau in 2010 filed a lawsuit against the two at the district court.

In the court battle, the residents’ legal team claimed that the state abusively uses the right to take legal action in order to suppress the local struggle and that their protest should be considered exercising their constitutional right to the freedom of expression.

In March 2012, the Naha District Court dropped the case against the other resident but found Isa to have blocked the construction work.

“The national government’s aim behind this lawsuit is to intimidate citizens involved in peace movements. We will spread the information about the injustice of this ruling nationwide and fight with others to win this case,” said Isa.

Past related articles:
> Takae resident ‘obstructs’ US helipads construction: court (March 15, 2012)
> Okinawa Defense Bureau sues anti-U.S. helipad villagers (January 31, 2010)
> List of Past issues
  Copyright (c) Japan Press Service Co., Ltd. All right reserved