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Anti-base women's group demonstrates in Tokyo

Date Posted: 1998-05-16

An anti-base Okinawan women's group called "Reach the Hearts with Women's Voice network" staged a demonstrations in front of the prime minister's official residence and the American Embassy in Tokyo, Friday.

The group of 51 women with their leader Tomi Mashiki, delivered 800 letters to the prime minister from people opposing the existence military bases in Okinawa. The group had sent copies of the letters to U.S. President Bill Clinton earlier.

During their demonstration, the women carried large aluminum bowls on their heads, dancing and chanting "We came to sell our produce to the American bases in Okinawa, please listen to us!" The performance was based on the old custom of local Okinawan women bringing fresh produce for sale for the U.S. military in similar bowls outside the base gates.

The demonstrators also carries posters stating their opposition to the bases in general and the construction of the proposed heliport off Henoko in particular.

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