Demonstrations could affect bases on Okinawa
CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — Anti-base demonstrations could affect access to several U.S. bases on Okinawa this weekend, beginning Friday. As of late Wednesday, no gate closures had been announced.
Saturday marks the 38th anniversary of Okinawa’s return to Japan by the United States. Thousands of Okinawans are expected to participate in the annual Peace March that begins Friday in northern Okinawa and ends Saturday afternoon at a rally in Ginowan Seaside Park.
At 2 p.m. Sunday, demonstrators will attempt to circle Marine Corps Air Station Futenma. Organizers estimate it will take at least 20,000 people to encompass the 8.07 mile base fence line. More than 30,000 people are expected to participate, according to organizers.
The Peace March will take three routes. One leg of the march is expected to be in the vicinity of Camp Hansen’s Gate 1 and 2 around 2:30 p.m. Friday. Other marchers starting in Yomitan are due to pass Torii Station’s Gate 1 about 9:30 a.m. Friday and Kadena Air Base’s Gate 1 at 3:30 p.m.
On Saturday, the marchers will be in the vicinity of Camp Foster’s gates from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. A rally at Ginowan Seaside Park is scheduled for 3 p.m.