Riot police charged under cover of fire hoses on Monday (26 July) to force protesting students and farmers from land needed for Tokyo's half-completed second international airport at Narita, 37 miles (60 kms) east of the Japanese capital.
Riot police charged under cover of fire hoses on Monday (26 July) to force protesting students and farmers from land needed for Tokyo's half-completed second international airport at Narita, 37 miles (60 kms) east of the Japanese capital. The police action against demonstrators entrenched at one end of the 13,000-foot (4,000 metre) main runway began at dawn and raged through the day.
After a final mop-up action by police on Tuesday (27 July), the total arrest figure was put at 235. In all, more than 600 police and demonstrators were injured during the two days of clashes.
SYNOPSIS: A dawn flare on Monday signalled the start of an all-out attack by police against protesting students and farmers at the site of Tokyo's new half-completed international airport at Narita.
Work on the site, 37 miles east of the Japanese capital, has been delayed during the three years of resistance to the use of the land. The opening is expected next April -- a year late.
A prime police target was a look-out tower erected by the students entrenched at one end of the 13,000-foot runway.
Fire trucks poured streams of water on the tower, and police moved up in an effort to get at the protestors. Many demonstrators took shelter in the series of tunnels, barricades and fortresses they had built in preparation for the day's action.
The tower finally gave way under the weight of the police attack. The students were supporting farmers who oppose the airport work because of loss of land and the noise and pollution nuisance. Left-wing students claim the airport will be used for military flights. Another police target was this tower used by students to broadcast against the government's police. By mid-day, police said that 28 students had been taken into custody and 43 people, some policemen, had been injured.
Student response to the loss of the broadcasting tower was swift and violent. Throughout the day, stone and petrol bombs were hurled at police.
Oh Tuesday, police mopped up most remaining resistance. In all, 235 people were arrested and more than 600 injured. There may be more trouble, because other runways are needed for the triple-runway project