Subject: [cwj 58] Thousands of police secure Japanese summit island
From: Corporate Watch in Japanese <>
Date: Sun, 16 Jul 2000 20:17:50 -0700
Seq: 58

Monday, July 17, 2000

Thousands of police secure Japanese summit island

OKINAWA ISLAND, Japan, July 17 (AFP) - 

Japan has launched a ground, air and sea operation to guard against
terrorist attacks at a Group of Eight leaders' summit in the southern
island of Okinawa.

A total 22,000 Japanese police, including 1,500 from Okinawa island, and
2,200 coast guard officers have been drafted into one of the tightest
security cordons in Japan since World War II.

The biggest fear was a lone terrorist landing on the shores of this
semi-tropical island and planting a bomb during the July 21-23 summit, with
guests including US President Bill Clinton, police said.

"It is one of the biggest security measures we have implemented," Yukinori
Morita, an official for the National Public Safety Commission's summit
office, told AFP.

"Our foremost mission is to secure the safety of participating heads of
state and prevent anyone from disrupting the summit at all costs," the
official said.

Threats from lone terrorists or violent radical groups were being assessed,
Morita said.

Even tombs were being searched as possible hiding places.

Japanese streets are safe compared with most countries' and violent
protests are now rare.

But security complacency was shattered when the Aum Supreme Truth doomsday
cult launched a poison gas attack on Tokyo's subway system in 1995, killing
12 people and injuring thousands.

And protests have already been whipped up against the 25,000 US troops
stationed in Okinawa since a drunken US marine allegedly broke into an
apartment and fondled a 14-year-old girl this month.

Extreme Marxist radicals within Japan are also feared to be capable of
launching an attack.

"We are keeping an eye on a variety of terrorist and protest groups
including anti-US, anti-US bases in Okinawa, Japanese radicals and Islamic
fundamentalists," said Morita.

Islamic fundamentalists were under special scrutiny because of Clinton's
presence, he said. 

At home, the Japan Revolutionary Communist League and similarly named Japan
Revolutionary Communist League's Revolutionary Marxist Faction were under

"They may attack a summit conference building," said Morita.

Many details of the security operation were kept secret.

But police said they would be using 20-30 helicopters and dozens of dogs
trained to sniff out explosives.

"Our foremost concern is a lone terrorist who arrives from the shores to
quietly plant a bomb," said Morita. "Since Okinawa is surrounded by the
sea, we will closely and carefully monitor every move on the ocean."

The Japanese coastguard is backing up the operation.

"We are implementing full-scale security measures," said a coastguard

"It is very easy for terrorists to sneak in from everywhere in Okinawa
because the island is surrounded by the ocean," he said.

"What is more, the summit conference room, an airport and hotels are all
facing the sea and they are the easiest targets for terrorists.  We are
giving very careful, detailed thought to our security measures."

They will be using 60 waterbikes, 100 patrol ships, 40 dinghies, 20
helicopters and 2,200 officers.

Polic want to avoid the mistakes of July 1975 when leftist radicals managed
to throw a molotov cocktail at Prince Akihito, now emperor, by hiding in
war-time bomb shelter in Okinawa.

The shelter, used by schoolgirls in World War II, had been turned into a
shrine and police had failed to search it because they considered the place

"We will check every plausible area so as not to make the same mistake
again," said Morita.

Okinawan tombs, unique structures made large enough for up to 20 mourners
to commune with the dead, were being searched by police with owners'

"People are very cooperative and we truly appreciate their cooperation and
understanding," Morita said.

FAIR USE NOTICE. This document contains copyrighted material whose use has
not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner.  Corporate Watch
in Japanese is making this article available in our efforts to advance
understanding of ecological sustainability, human rights, economic
democracy and social justice issues. We believe that this constitutes a
'fair use' of the copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of
the US Copyright Law. If you wish to use this copyrighted material for
purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission
from the copyright owner.
Corporate Watch in Japanese
Transnational Resource and Action Center (TRAC)
P.O. Box 29344
San Francisco, CA 94129 USA
Tel: 1-415-561-6472
Fax: 1-415-561-6493
The Corporate Watch in Japanese (CWJ)
mailing list is a moderated email list in English designed to connect
activists campaigning against Japanese corporations and investments around
the world.
To unsubscribe from the CWJ mailing list, send an email to with text "unsubscribe cwj".  To subscribe to the CWJ
mailing list, send a message to with the text
"subscribe cwj"
The CWJ mailing list is NOT intended for wide distribution.  If you would
like to post messages from this list somewhere else, we ask that you first
contact us at

Return to Index
Return to cwj HOME