Two thousand people protest in Tokyo against Osprey deployment

Two thousand people protest in Tokyo against Osprey deployment

On the night of October 23, in the Hibiya Open Air Concert Hall in Chiyoda, Tokyo, 2000 people participated in a rally against the deployment of the Osprey in Okinawa.


October 24, 2012 Ryukyu Shimpo

On October 23, a group lobbying against the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between the United States and Japan held a rally in the Hibiya Open Air Concert Hall in Chiyoda, Tokyo, to protest against the deployment of the Osprey. About 2000 people took part in the rally despite heavy rain falling. The rally was a protest to the Government against the deployment of the MV-22 Osprey, its low-level flight training and a call for the early closure of Futenma Air Station. The organizers declared that they intend to expand their protests all over Japan.

Kazuo Shii, the chairman of the Japanese Communist Party, criticized Defense Minister Satoshi Morimoto with regard to the case in which two U.S. sailors have been charged with rape. He said, “The Defense Minister describes this crime as an ‘accident.’ This indicates that the Government of Japan has never felt any responsibility towards this matter. It is impossible to eliminate the violent crime and accidents caused by the U.S. military personnel without removing the U.S. bases from Okinawa.”

Yoshikazu Tamaki, who is an Okinawan assembly member and was the head of an executive committee of a previous rally against the Osprey deployment in Okinawa, also attended the central rally. He stated, “Okinawa people feel that the Security Treaty is what has exposed them to threats and danger. The issue of military bases cannot be resolved by Okinawans alone, and we fervently hope that many people living in the main islands of Japan will join us in looking for a solution.”

Participants in the rally chanted slogans and held up posters on which they’d written “No Osprey” as they marched from the park to the National Diet Building.

(English translation by T&CT, Lima Tokumori and Mark Ealey)

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