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Activists Vow to Disrupt G8 Summit

Date Posted: 2000-04-21

Organizers of the upcoming Okinawa G8 Summit may have one more headache coming. Organizations that staged protests recently at the International Monetary Fund and World Bank meetings in Washington DC and disrupted the World Trading Organization meeting in Seattle earlier, vow to bring their act to Okinawa. Caroline Aranllo, vice chairman of a Philippine-based non-governmental organization, said Sunday that her group and others are going to take similar action in Okinawa. “We will link up all peace activists, anti-nuclear groups and anti-imperialists in Japan, and take similar actions in Okinawa in July for the G8 meeting.” Another activist, Elana Berkowitz agreed: “We have a lot of momentum now, and we want to continue it.” Japanese officials are genuinely worried and say that they need to start coordinating among the organizations concerned with the security of the meeting, about the possibility of massive demonstrations and even riots. Back in March, Jubilee 2000, a group seeking debt relief for poor countries warned that it would protest loudly at the Okinawa G8 Summit.

A man walked into a 24-hour convenience store early yesterday morning in Nishihara and robbed the store of \100,000 in cash at knifepoint. According to Yonabaru Police, the 20-year male store clerk called the police after a man wearing a towel wrapped around his face walked into the store, threatened the clerk with a knfe and demanded the contents of the cash register. After receiving the money, the robber ran away. The clerk was not injured and there were no customers in the store when the robbery took place. The clerk described that the robber appeared to be in his twenties. Police investigation continues.

According to the report by Okinawa Convention and Tourism Bureau, last year’s efforts to remove crowned thorn starfish from waters around Okinawa were partly effective at places and had no effect at others. The report says that in waters north of Cape Zampa and Chibisi Island, both popular scuba diving spots, the number of crowned thorns appears to have increased, whereas their number in other places has decreased. Cowned thorn starfish eats live coral and is considered to be a major threat to the well-being of the reefs. The effort to remove the starfish has been suffering recently of lack of funds, a direct result of the prefecture’s fiscal foes. Officials say that in spite of the budget problems they intend to continue their effort considering how important scuba diving business is for prefecture’s economy. The report says that the number of crowned thorns seem to have peaked in the summer 1997.

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