Sunday, February 28, 2010

No helipad in Takae, Okinawa – A sit-in continues

A sit-in has continued since 2007 in protest against a plan to construct a helipad near a settlement in the Takae district, Higashi Village in Okinawa Prefecture in exchange with a partial return of the Okinawa Hokubu Training Area of the US Army. The construction of the helipad has been stopped ever since. However, the Okinawa Defense Bureau unilaterally told the community residents recently its intention to restart the currently suspended construction in July this year, and held a briefing for them on February 1. In the “briefing”, the same materials as those that had been already given to them before were delivered, and the only answers from the bureau staff were “We are not sure” or “It hasn’t been decided yet” to such questions from the residents as a “scale of noise”, “types of helicopters” or “flight courses”. Thus, the briefing was far from satisfactory. Many people from all around Japan support the protestors in Takae who have continued their sit-in. Support from more people is needed for the residents in protest against the restart of the helipad construction scheduled in coming July. (Yumoto Masanori)  video (UnionTube)


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