: Classifieds : MyJU :
Stories: News
Browse News Stories: « Previous Story | Next Story »

World Media See Kadena Circled

Date Posted: 2000-07-31

About 27,000 people took part in a demonstration against the presence of the U.S. bases in Okinawa, the day before the Summit. The demonstrators circled the Kadena Airbase with a human chain. Many of the demonstrators carried anti-base banners and chanted slogans, but most appeared to take the event more in the way of a good-natured family picnic.

The large number of demonstrators delighted the organizers who but a few weeks ago were seriously considering cancelling the event altogether. Most of the commentators attributed the success of the demonstration to recent scandals involving U.S. service members.

The Commanding General of the Kadena Air Base, James B. Smith said that he understands that it is the right of people to express their opinion. But he said “at the same time it is important to remember that the demonstrators don’t represent the opinion of every Okinawan.”

He went on to stress the strategic importance of the Kadena Air Base in the context of the overall security and peace of the region. The general also said that the alleged high crime rate attributed to the U.S. service members is a myth perpetuated by the media. “The crime rate involving the service members is actually only one eighth of the crime rate of the local civilian population, but it is reported prominently in the local media because of our high visibility and for political reasons,” Smith said.

Kadena Air Base has been the target of similar demonstrations twice in the past in 1987 and 1990. MCAS Futenma has been encircled twice in the past in 1995 and 1998. However, this is the first time such a demonstration has occurred under the observation of the worldwide media, in Okinawa to cover the G-8 Summit.

Browse News Stories: « Previous Story | Next Story »

weather currency health and beauty restaurants Yellowpages JU Blog

OkistyleOkistyleJU Facebook

Go to advertising PDF?||?|o?L?qAE?|?}?OA?N?ga`OkiStyle?A??q?qM?oeu^?I`??N?gX?<eth>?<ETH>?ni^?IWanted!!Golden Kings ScheduleOkiNightSeeker