Okinawan novelist released after being held for 8 hours in US military base
April 3, 2016 Ryukyu Shimpo
On April 2, the Japan Coast Guard (JCG) referred Akutagawa Prize winning novelist Shun Medoruma, 55, to the Naha prosecutor’s office. The novelist was arrested on March 1 on suspicion of violating the Act on Special Measures Concerning Criminal Cases for entering the restricted area beside U.S. Marine Corps Camp Schwab from off the coast of Henoko, Nago.
At 7:15 p.m. on April 2, the prosecutor’s office released him without having decided whether it will indict him or drop the case. Medoruma said, referring to his arrest, “It was an extraordinary situation because I had no intention to intrude [on the restricted area]. I was only trying to pass through.”
On April 1, he was protesting against the construction of the new U.S. base, handling a canoe off the coast of Henoko.
At 9:20, a Japanese security guard employed by U.S. Marine Corps detained Medoruma, alleging that he entered the restricted area.
He was taken into confinement for about eight hours within the U.S. base.
At 5:22 p.m., he was turned over to the Japan’s Coast Guard Office in Okinawa City.
(English translation by T&CT)
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