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SECURITY > Okinawa

U.S. military in Okinawa cancels use of commercial port due to local opposition

Mainichi, Okinawa Times, and Ryukyu Shimpo reported that on Tuesday the USMC in Okinawa chose not to go ahead with the planned use of a commercial port in Motobu by an “open water safety boat” in the face of protests  by local anti-base activists and labor union members. According to the dailies, a military truck carrying the boat, which was intended for use in parachute drop training on a neighboring islet, was not able to enter the harbor’s premises due to a sit-in by some 100 picketers. The papers wrote that the U.S. military is permitted to use commercial ports for operational purposes and has done so in Okinawa on four different occasions. However, the previous instances were all on remote isles and this was reportedly the first time that the U.S. military tried to use a port on the main island of Okinawa. The articles added that after being notified of the plan on Sept. 10, the Motobu municipal government had been urging the U.S. military to forego it by citing the residents’ concerns.

 

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