2,500 protest in Henoko against rape of tourist

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According to organizers, about 2,500 people gathered Monday in front of the main gate of Camp Schwab in Henoko to protest the alleged rape of a female tourist in Naha. A U.S. sailor stationed on Camp Schwab is accused of raping the woman on Mar. 13th after finding her asleep in a hallway in a hotel where they both stayed.

The site in front of the gate has been the site of a continuous demonstration for the past year and half with people opposing the construction of the replacement facility for MCAS Futenma keeping a vigil there.

Nago Mayor Susumu Inamine, a leading figure in the Henoko construction opposition movement took part in the demonstration. “Incidents and accidents never cease to exist as long as there are bases here,” Inamine said speaking to the demonstrators, adding, “If the U.S. military were a good neighbor, this kind of incidents wouldn’t happen.”

After the seaman was arrested, Lt. Gen. Lawrence Nicholson, the top commander of U.S. military on Okinawa Prefecture, went to meet Okinawa Governot Takeshi Onaga to apologize for the alleged rape, and express his “deepest regret and remorse.”

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