Protesters mark 1,000th day of sit-in near US base in Okinawa

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 01 April, 2017, 7:48pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 01 April, 2017, 9:50pm

People protesting the central government’s plan to transfer a US military base within Okinawa marked the 1,000th day of a sit-in near the relocation site on Saturday, reiterating calls for a reduction in the island prefecture’s base-hosting burden.

Opponents of the base transfer continued their sit-in protest in front of the gate of Camp Schwab in the coastal district of Henoko in Nago, northern Okinawa, where the government is moving the US Marine Corps Air Station Futenma which is located in a densely populated area.

“Let us renew our resolve to stop the construction of a military base,” said Suzuyo Takazato, head of a local organisation formed by members of civic groups and political parties against the base transfer plan.

Japan’s top court backs Tokyo in bid to relocate Okinawa base

Also on Saturday, Okinawa government officials patrolled Henoko’s coast in a boat after a permit expired Friday to allow undersea work as part of land reclamation for the base relocation.

The local government said it would consider a lawsuit against the central government if any undersea work is conducted there after the permit’s expiration.

The central government holds the position that such a permit is no longer necessary to conduct undersea work after a local fishery cooperative gave up its right to fish in the area in November.