The thrum of animatronics and squeals of dolls rang in the air of Tokyo for the week of June 8th, yet no children ran around with excitement. Instead, an army clad in business attire was present, though the feeling of youth remained within the customarily stoic Japanese air.
In mid-2018, Okinawa’s anti-base movement faces a crisis. The struggle to resist construction of a US military base in Nago City’s Henoko district has never been easy. It confronts two governments, Japan and the United States, that deploy all instruments of state power–police, propaganda, intervening in local elections—to get their way.
The campaign against the Dakota Access Pipeline launched in December 2016 by a handful of Japanese activists entered a new round of activity this month when two Native Americans, who are Standing Rock Water Protectors, visited Japan, aiming at grassroots alliance-building with international indigenous groups.