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Okinawan politicians demand halt to Army range construction

Date Posted: 2004-11-12

Okinawan politicians are taking their protests over a new replacement range facility to American officials in mainland Japan.

Opposition to the U.S. Army’s new range complex at Camp Hansen now includes a group of members of the Okinawa Prefecture Military Affairs Committee, which has gone to Tokyo to solicit support for shutting down construction. They met with U.S. Embassy officials, and also with military leaders at Yokota Air Base.

The entourage was headed by the committee chairman, Iha Tsunehiro. It is also visiting other offices in Tokyo, including the Defense Agency and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Other opponents continue their fight on Okinawa. The National Federation of Fisheries Cooperative, Okinawa Chapter, wants the work stopped because of fears it will ruin their livelihood. They’ve expressed concerns about the red clay soil running off into the waters, potentially reducing their catches.

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