Sit-in protestors claim fight against Takae construction is ongoing

Sit-in protestors claim fight against Takae construction is ongoing

Past 10 a.m. on July 7, riot police remove chairs from the front of the NTA’s N1 Gate while protestors remain sitting in them, protesting construction of entry roads to helipads.

July 7, 2017 Ryukyu Shimpo

On the morning of July 7, ten citizens waged a sit-in at the front of the N1 Gate to the Northern Training Area (NTA) in Takae, Higashi Village to protest the construction of entry roads leading to helipads. Protestors stated that, “The fight Isn’t over yet.”

Sit-in protestors held up placards with messages such as: “Don’t destroy Takae” and “Don’t destroy the Yambaru woods.” An Okinawa Prefectural Police riot squad warned protestors not to sit in, and removed chairs with the protestors still sitting in them. The Okinawa Defense Bureau’s security personnel surrounded the gate, allowing about 15 heavy machines and trucks carrying sand and construction equipment to enter the base.

Twenty-eight-year-old Takae resident Ayumi Isa said that with Henoko also drawing attention people do not gather in Takae so much anymore, but the fight with construction is not over. She acknowledged that stopping construction may be difficult, but wants to watch closely to see what occurs in Takae.

The Okinawa branch of the Peace Forum’s Kazuo Morimoto, a 76-year-old who is originally from Kanagawa Prefecture and now resides in Naha, said that it is odd that despite the great sacrifices paid by Okinawa in the war, the bases are only being strengthened and not reduced. He said, “We must come together to prevent base construction.”

(English translation by T&CT and Erin Jones)

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