Sit-in protest in front of Camp Schwab marks its first year, reaches critical stage

Sit-in protest in front of Camp Schwab marks its first year, reaches critical stage

Citizens shout "Ganbaro!" three times, marking one year of a sit-in protest in front of the gate of Camp Schwab, Henoko, Nago, on July 6.


July 7, 2015 Ryukyu Shimpo

On July 7, a sit-in protest in front of the gate of Camp Schwab has reached one year since the start of action to block construction of a new U.S. base at Henoko, Nago. The governments of the United States and Japan plan to build an air-field to replace U.S. Marine Corp Air Station Futenma.

In the morning of July 6, in front of the gate of Camp Schwab, more than 150 people took part in the sit in protest. They were from both Okinawa and outside of the prefecture.

Takako Miyagi, 52, a resident of Tomigusuku, visited the sit-in front of the gate for the first time in a year. He said, “I feel the movement against new base construction has progressed and become more popular compared with one year ago. It is important to visit the scene. We have to try hard now for future generations.”

Tozo Matsumoto, 81, an Urasoe resident and a former public officer who had carried out a survey regarding land for U.S. military use, said, “It is regional discrimination to force placing an excessive burden of U.S. military bases in a certain part of the country.” He said, raising his voice, “The sit-in protest has marked one year, but now we will face a critical stage for our struggle.”

Atsuko Arai, 54, from Kanagawa Prefecture, took part in the sit-in for the first time. She said, “It is frustrating because the Henoko issue is still not resolved. But, we cannot give up. We would like to convey the situation to the people of Kanagawa.”

(English translation by T&CT)

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