Support our mission

YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — Japanese police are tightening security measures throughout Japan — including areas around U.S. military installations — in preparation for Monday’s Group of Eight Summit on the northern island of Hokkaido.

On Saturday, the National Police Agency ordered police Japanwide to tighten security for the three-day summit, including mobilizing some 21,000 Hokkaido Prefectural police officers to conduct security for the summit, according to an the NPA press release.

"Unfortunately there has been a history of protests, both peaceful and violent during the G8 summit," said James Brophy, the anti-terrorism officer for U.S. Forces Japan, citing last year’s G8 protests in Germany in which about 1,000 people were injured, including 300 German police officers.

In July 2000, leftists radicals opposed to the G8 summit fired a pair of projectiles toward Yokota Air Base, with one landing near the runway.

"While there is a history of violent activities associated with the G8, we do not expect there to be an equivalent level of violence here in Japan," said Brophy.

He said national police are providing a significant number of officers and resources to assist in the security of military bases throughout Japan.

More than 500 Japanese police officers are currently assigned to provide 24-hour security just in the area around Yokota, he said.

With the increased security presence, Brophy said U.S. personnel going off-base should cooperate with any instructions Japanese police give, adding that in some major transportation hubs such as train stations, police may ask for photo identification and inspect bags.

"Security is all of our jobs," Brophy said, adding that anything suspicious or out of place should be reported.

National police explained in a newsletter that the summit is an opportunity for international terrorists, anti-globalism and radical groups to show their presence to the world. It stated that there are concerns of terrorist activities against summit-related facilities and U.S. bases.

"We are aware of some planned demonstrations in the Tokyo area," said Brophy, who urged people to avoid protest areas.

Two separate demonstrations Sunday in Tokyo attracted more than 1,000 protesters, with some scuffling with police, according to media reports.

The G8 Summit is an annual meeting of the leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States.


Stripes in 7



around the web


Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign-up to receive a daily email of today’s top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign up