Scuffle leads to first arrest at gate of Camp Schwab

Category: [ News ]

Preparing to restart the landfill work at the relocation site of MCAS Futenma at Henoko, 15 heavy construction vehicles entered Camp Schwab from late in the evening of Jan. 10th through the early morning of the 11th.

Seeing the vehicles preparing to move into the base, people opposing the construction who have been staging a vigil outside of the base rushed to the gate in order to prevent the vehicles from entering.  However, Nago Police and riot police forcibly removed them.

During a scuffle that ensued, a demonstrator allegedly attacked a private security guard, and beat him on the face with a coffee can. Police then arrested him on a charge of an alleged assault. The Naha Defense Ministry’s Okinawa Defense Bureau has hired private the security guards placed at the gate.

Police has identified the arrested demonstrator as 38-year-old Kobun Sasaki, who is the first person to have been arrested during the protest campaign in Henoko since last July. According to police sources, Sasaki was drunk at the time of his arrest. He is still in the custody and has remained silent about the incident, police say.

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