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Anti-base protesters say citizens ‘don’t even care’

Date Posted: 2007-07-26

A woman has been sitting in front of the heliport in Higashi Village, keeping an eye on the Naha Self Defense Agency workers preparing for a new US military airfield in the Takae area.

She's one of many opponents of the plan who come daily to stage sit-in’s and protest. “We don’t have enough people protecting our lives,” she says, accusing the Naha Self Defense Force of coming in from everywhere. She says “It’s almost impossible to watch them for 24 hours, and we can’t see anything.

“It doesn’t look like Okinawans are interested in taking opposition action,” she complains. “Not many people come to help us” protest.

Residents in the area are being more pragmatic. “We need money for living, and if (the government) brings us money, we’ll sure accept the heliport, one says.” We are not against that construction,” says another. The citizens are firm about what they want, with one saying “even with the House of Councilors election, we do not care about the base problem.”

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