(In Front of the Gate)
At 9am nearly 30 people gathered at the Camp Schwab Gate to sit in. Yesterday at Motobe Port peaceful protestors successfully blocked the US Marine to use the local port. Excitement caused by the news got reverberated in speeches especially made by the participants from the mainland, who said “the fight in Okinawa is amazing” and “this news will definitely empower everyone across Japan.” Five Students of Meiji Gakuin University visiting from Tokyo were excitedly listening to these remarks.
Total 199 dump trucks of three separate convoys passed through the gate to bring in the construction materials into the base throughout the day. Today marked the 1900th day of the sit-in protest at the Camp Schwab Gate.
(On the Sea in Oura Bay)
One protest boat and 5 canoes performed the protest activity on the sea. At K-1 Seawall a crane was hoisting the floats to be moved to the inside of the seawall. The operation should be a preparation for a typhoon. One of the canoes paddled beyond the float to move ahead toward the site of the landfill work. The Japanese Coast Guard immediately captured the canoe.
(Protest in Front of the Piers)
No transportation of earth and gravel was conducted either at Awa or Shiokawa. This was probably because there might be no empty barge available to be used as the earth and gravels already on the transportation ships could not be thrown into the landfill site due to the bad weather, which had started since yesterday.
It was the day when Okinawa was encouraged. Yesterday, at Motobu Port citizens together with the dock workers successfully blocked the departure of a US Marine’s boat, which was planned to be used for the parachute training performed offshore of Ie Island. On the previous day, Okinawa Prefecture officials as well as Motobu Municipal office asked the Marines not to use the port, but their requests went unheeded. As this was the first time that the US Forces tried to use the local port, people got deeply motivated to prevent the Marines from exploiting this opportunity to create a fait accompli.
People felt concerned that if the Marine could use the port this time, they would start freely using any port in Okinawa whenever they want for whatever reasons.
Many people started to show up at 6am at Motobu Port. When a US Marine Corps truck showed up towing a boat around 7 am, dock workers gathered inside of the gate, as people stood in front of the truck to block the approach to the port. As the number plate was missing on the truck, people accused it against the police and the Okinawa Defense Bureau. Meanwhile, the officials of the prefectural government, the Okinawa Defense Bureau and the headquarter of the US Forces in Okinawa seemed to keep the negotiation. Around 4:30 pm US military decided to return the truck and the boat. They announced that the parachute training scheduled on the day was canceled. It was a remarkable day when the people’s power defeated the arrogance of the US Marine who had tried to indulgently use land and sea of Okinawa by exploiting U.S.-Japan Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA).