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SECURITY > Okinawa

First arrest over protests against helipad construction in Okinawa

  • August 12, 2016
  • , Ryukyu Shimpo , p. 28
  • Translation

The Nago Police arrested on Aug. 11 a man (36) who lives in Nago City and claims to be construction worker on the charge of obstructing an officer in the performance of his duty after the man dragged the officer with his motorcycle. The man was participating in protests against the helipad construction at the site. The man reportedly denies the charge, saying “I cannot speak now.” This is the first arrest in connection with the protests.


The allegation is that around 08:34 a.m. on Aug. 11 when the police officer instructed the man to stop his motorcycle on Prefectural Road 70 at Takae in the village of Higashi, he suddenly started the motorcycle, dragging the police officer who was holding on to it. According to the Nago Police Station, the police officer sustained scratches to his knees.


The spot is about two kilometers south of the Takae cooperative store, according to the police. The man was repeatedly stopping and starting his motorcycle ahead of a police car while heading north. When the police officer stopped the man, grabbing his arm, he suddenly started the motorcycle.


The spot is distant from the helipad construction site where residents are staging a sit-down demonstration at the U.S. military Northern Training Area (NTA) that stretches between the villages of Higashi and Kunigami. The man was acting alone.

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