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Rallies, protests stir Okinawa International Women’s Day

Date Posted: 2008-03-11

Slogans called for protests against war and poverty, and for an end to discrimination against women, but the battle phrase at the 98th International Women’s Day was the call for action against last month’s alleged rape of a young teenager and demands for an American apology.
Meeting at Urasoe City’s Tedako Hall over the weekend, dozens of women condemned the actions of an American Marine accused in the sexual assault case, then released when Japanese prosecutors dropped the charges. “We must not forgive him,” participants shouted, adding “Americans should go away from Okinawa.”
Another International Women’s Day Okinawa Prefecture meeting was equally hostile in the wake of the rape cases. Meeting at the Gender Equality Tiruru Hall in Naha City, women called the young girl’s assault “a scandal and a problem.” They promised “Okinawa women must not forgive the man who did it,” and called for “compensation and an apology from him.”
The groups, which say they will go ahead with plans for a March 23rd protest demonstration in Chatan Town, are also calling for reform of the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty.

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