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Union Sends 500 Mainlanders To March Round Kadena

Date Posted: 2000-09-08

A peace demonstration is taking place this week with 500 young people from the mainland marching round Kadena Airbase, visiting a battleground and being lectured about the base issue. The demonstration, organised by telecommunications giant NTTís labour union, is their eighth. Each Memorial Day they send several hundred young people to Okinawa to learn about the war and subsequent US-Japan military arrangements. Memorial Day is on June 23 but this year the demonstration was postponed because of local elections. On Tuesday local politician Keiko Itokazu lectured the group about US bases in Okinawa. They march around Kadena with banners on Wednesday and afterwards held a meeting at Kadena Athletic Park. Today Thursday they visit Itokazu Cave, which was used as a hospital during the Battle of Okinawa. As World War 11 survivors are dwindling, the NTT union, which has 200,000 members, feels it is important to educate young people about the war and get them to participate in the Okinawa US base issue. The peace demonstration was organised by the NTT unionís 50 local members.

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