In Japan there've been pitched battles between police and demonstrators over the controversial Narita airport near Tokyo.
In Japan there've been pitched battles between police and demonstrators over the controversial Narita airport near Tokyo. A number of arrests were made on Sunday (2 July) when protestors tried to break into the airport.
SYNOPSIS: Thousands of demonstrators attended a rally near the airport. The organisers claimed it was the biggest protest since the airport was finally opened in May, after years of opposition from conservationists and farmers.
At the rally a resolution was adopted calling for a fight to the last to obstruct flights at Narita and to have the airport scrapped permanently.
The demonstrators said they would use every possible means to achieve their aim.
Violence broke out when a separate group of radicals drove two trucks at the airport gate in an attempt to break in. One truck rammed a police armoured car and burst into flames, but the occupants of the second vehicle evaded police and escaped.
There was more trouble when petrol bombs were thrown and a march which began peacefully departed from the authorised route. Riot police moved in to block the marchers but they refused to go back. Ten thousand police were stationed along the 10 kilometre route of the march. For a time there was a stalemate between the two sides.
But the police decided to take action when the demonstrators staged a sit-in along the road.
Dozens of protestors were arrested when fighting broke out.
In the pat 12 years six people have died and more than 8,000 have been injured in fighting between police and opponents of Narita.
As the arrests continued other demonstrators sent up two tethered balloons in an unsuccessful attempt to hold up flights. Thick black smoke rose over the airport when they set fire to old car tyres.