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Anti-Base Activists Arrested in Tokyo

SNA (Tokyo) — On February 20, 2011, Japanese protesters took to the streets near the US Embassy in Tokyo to express their opposition to the forcible construction of the US Marine helipads in Takae Village, Okinawa.

One of the participants, Masanori Kashiwazaki, explains what happened next:

Kashiwazaki: We already called US Embassy, and announced that we will go there to hand in the petition to stop the construction of US base in Okinawa. They said okay. But the next day, police say the embassy don’t receive. So we made a protest. But just after five or ten minutes, the police arrested two of our friends, and one of police said, ‘Arrest him.’ Then a dozen of police caught friend, forcibly grabbed his arms, legs, belt, and even hair, and they pulled our friend to police car. Just after that, one more friend was arrested like that.

Question: Do you know why chose those two people in particular?

Kashiwazaki: I think the police didn’t choose. It was at random, I think… We just walked sidewalk, not public space. I think this case is for the first time.

This is the Shingetsu News Agency signing off from Tokyo.