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Drunk new adults disturb traffic, cause mischief

Date Posted: 2003-01-17

“Coming of Age” ceremonies were celebrated Monday, but despite smaller regional ceremonies and cancellation of other events, there were still incidents. At local schools, some new adults became drunk and managed to wreak mischief and disturb public order. The holiday recognized individuals attaining the age of 20.

On Sunday, some 30 young men clad in festive kimonos marched side by side from Mitsukoshi Department Store to Palette Kumoji on Kokusai Street in Naha City, taking swigs of awamori from a large bottle while waving flags and singing songs. Their procession brought traffic to a complete standstill. Naha City Police, which had 150 officers on the scene to keep order, tried unsuccessfully to order them to move onto the sidewalks.

Also on Sunday, at the pavilion in front of Palette Kumoji, another group of young adults had set up a stage, prepared seats and a karaoke machine, and brought sake by the barrel. Many cars had been parked at the bus stop, preventing people getting on and off the buses.

Police ran out of patience Monday when two young men drove onto Kokusai Street waving flags from the car windows and threatening to hit other cars with their flagpoles. When they did not heed the police orders, they were arrested. Most municipalities throughout the country refrained from organizing traditional ceremonies because of past bad behavior of the young participants.

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