NAGO, Okinawa Prefecture--Drizzly weather and the passage of almost three years have not cooled heated opposition to construction of a new U.S. base here.
On April 1, hundreds of demonstrators marked the 1,000th consecutive day of their sit-in protests in front of a U.S. military base.
In the milestone protest, an estimated 600 opponents showed up to shout slogans near a gate at the U.S. Marine Corps’ Camp Schwab. Construction of a new airfield has been under way in the Henoko district of this city to relocate the functions of U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, which is located in the prefecture’s Ginowan.
The demonstrations began in July 2014, when the central government reportedly began the process to prepare for the Futenma relocation.
Since then, opponents have pitched tents, held gatherings and staged sit-ins in front of the Camp Schwab gate until being dispersed by riot police, a process repeated daily.