Defense Bureau sets buoys off Camp Schwab

Okinawa Defense Bureau contractors installed buoys and floats to cordon off an area, Friday, where the landfill work for the runways of the MCAS Futenma replacement facility is scheduled to be built. The buoys define the restricted area and are also meant to keep away the protesters from the site.

The next phase of the work, boring 16 holes into the seabed to survey the strength of the seafloor to prepare for the landfill, is expected to begin as early as today. All equipment needed to complete the survey has already been ready on Camp Schwab.

While the contractors were busy installing the equipment, Japan Coast Guard was busy shooing away protesters who are opposing the construction. Activists who sailed out mostly in canoes to demand the work to stop were met by coast guard officers in small dinghies and boats to  block their entry to the restricted area. One protester was taken into custody as he got into a scuffle with coast guard officers, and was arrested. He was also reportedly slightly injured in the scuffle. Some of the canoes were escorted back to the shore.

At the same time, according to local press reports more than 300 protesters gathered in front of the main gate of Camp Schwab.