17,000 Japanese Circle U.S. Marine Base in Peaceful Protest (Update)


Jay Alabaster
The China Post (AP)
May 17, 2010

Thousands of Japanese linked hands and encircled a Marine Corps base in Okinawa on Sunday to protest its presence on the island, putting more pressure on Tokyo to resolve an impasse over the base’s future.

About 17,000 residents surrounded the Futenma air base early in the afternoon, chanting slogans and completing a human chain twice for several minutes each time, city official Hitoshi Nakou said. The base covers about 1.9 square miles (4.92 square kilometers), and sits in the middle of Ginowan, a city of about 93,000.

To read the updated story at the China Post, click here.

Demonstrators form a human chain around Futenma air station in Ginowan, Okinawa Prefecture on Sunday, May 16. KYODO PHOTO

U.S. Air Base Surrounded by Human Chain of Protesters 

The Japan Times (Kyodo, AP)
May 16, 2010

About 17,000 people formed a human chain around Futenma air station in Ginowan, Okinawa Prefecture, on Sunday, calling for the return of the land used by the U.S. Marine Corps facility and protesting plans to move its operations elsewhere in the prefecture.

Ginowan Mayor Yoichi Iha and Nago Mayor Susumu Inamine were among those braving strong winds and rain for the demonstration and read out a joint statement calling on the central government to give up on its plans to move it to the Henoko district in Nago.

To read the full story at the Japan Times online, click here.


Additional information on this story can be found at the links below:

AFP Photo

Okinawa Residents Protest at US Air Base   AFP,  May 16, 2010

Japan Reluctant to Antagonize US Over Air Base  Press TV, May 16, 2010

Massive Okinawa “13 Kilometer Human Chain” Protest Announced For Sunday, May 16


Global Post
May 11, 2010

A massive 13 kilometer long human chain will protest against the Futenma relocation of the American military base in Okinawa on May 16, 2010, according to Sankei.

Mayor Youichi Iha told a news conference on Tuesday that people in Okinawa Prefecture want the central government to negotiate with the US to remove the bases from Okinawa…

To read the full story at globalpost.com, click here.