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Groups planning to circle KAB in protest

Date Posted: 1998-02-14

In Tokyo, a citizens group is planning the Circle Around Kadena Air Base protest for May 15.

"Let's make a circle around Kadena Air Base with humans, do some performances, say prayers and do a festival to appeal to the world that Okinawa doesn't need bases anymore," says a representative of the group. A concert, candle-lighting ceremony, parade, music and song, and a frying pan banging symposium are all planned for the international festival which will surround Kadena from Gate 1 to Gate 5.

Organizers expect 25,000 people to attend and they have planned shows by artists and taiko drummers as well as flower displays and other activities.

Okinawan musician Shoukichi Kina explains the protest in this way, "I want them (Americans) to find out for themselves╔which is more noisy? Voices and music or planes?"

While some Okinawans support the planned protest, a lot of young people on island are looking forward to working on base. The younger generation of Okinawans see the bases as a chance for enhanced possibilities, steady jobs, learning the English language and exchanging Okinawan language and culture with Americans.

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