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Black ribbons tied to Futenma fences as a protest symbol

Date Posted: 2006-08-18

A Ginowan City ladies group has begun placing black ribbons along Futenma Marine Corps Air Station fences in protest of the base still being open.

“I would like to experess our feeling that we don’t want this Futenma Air Station here,” said ladies group spokeswoman Mie Kunimasa. “We are protesting to the American military. The mostly elderly women began tying 3,000 black ribbons and white curtains to the fences last weekend, the second anniversary of a helicopter crash just outside the Marine Corps base.

Not all Ginowan citizens don’t like the ribbons, and are demanding they come down. They say the bad publicity is giving Ginowan City a negative image.

At the same time, some demonstrators are expressing surprise at the lack of interest people around the world have about the Futenma issue. Mainland Japanese students who explained the 2004 helicopter accident to a Columbia University Symposium found apathy. The students said “You are bringing this matter to the wrong place. It should be taken to mainland Japan, not to America. We don’t care.” A Japanese student said she ‘was shocked’ at the disinterest.

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