In Japan, demonstrators opposed to Tokyo's new international airport at Narita clashed with police on Wednesday (19 January) when work was resumed after nearly a year to remove runway obstructions built by protest groups.
In Japan, demonstrators opposed to Tokyo's new international airport at Narita clashed with police on Wednesday (19 January) when work was resumed after nearly a year to remove runway obstructions built by protest groups. Fighting broke out when about 200 of the demonstrators wearing helmets and armed with poles and stones attacked police. There were two arrests.
SYNOPSIS: The demonstrators gathered around the towers, shouting slogans against the airport and at one stage hurled stones at construction workers. They also burned car tyres as 33,5000 riot police were brought in to protect the 370 strong work-force.
The protests, which included a ritual snake dance, was one of many that have been staged. Opposition groups have successfully delayed the opening of the airport for nearly five years. But this month Japanese Prime Minister Takeo Fukuda ordered the steel towers to be removed so that the airport, which was virtually finished three years ago, can be completed. The Narita International Airport Corporation hopes to get rid of the towers within four months.
And it plans to complete the airport, which is about 40 miles (60 kms) south-east of Tokyo, by the autumn. Violent clashes in the past between police and demonstrators have also centred around the massive steel towers, and this fresh protest could, it is believed, be the start of a renewed campaign by opposition groups. The new airport is intended to replace Haneda, Tokyo's present international terminal.