Japanese riot police made a surprise swoop to clear students from the site of Tokyo's second major airport yesterday and encountered only light resistance.
Japanese riot police made a surprise swoop to clear students from the site of Tokyo's second major airport yesterday and encountered only light resistance. The site at Narita, about 44 miles (about 70 Kms) from Tokyo was the scene of bloody fighting last Thursday. But today the battle lasted only an hour and when it was over police were in full control. Petrol bombs were thrown and police retaliated with tear gas, but there ware fewer reported casualties than last week.
Police decided to move in unexpectedly to remove the last remaining house on the airport site. After the owner had been moved out workmen began dismantling the premises. Then the violence started, but this time the police were well prepared.
SYNOPSIS: Mrs. Yone Koizumi's house has stood since the end of the Second World War on farm land about 43 miles (70 Kms) from Tokyo...at least it stood until yesterday. Then a Government official arrived to tell Mrs. Koizumi that her house had to make way for progress...the land was wanted as part of Tokyo's second international airport. Other farmers who had already lost their land joined Mrs. Koizumi to listen to the Government official. They had heard what he had to say before. Violent rioting followed earlier attempts to move the farmers. Students had backed the land owners and riot police joined the authorities. Yesterday, Mrs. Koizumi did what many of the other farmers had chosen to do...ignore the authorities...she was arrested and workmen moved in and began dismantling the house. Some 2,500 riot police stood by. The operation came as a surprise to the farmers and students battling to save the land. After last Thursday's bloody rioting which left three policemen dead and more that 200 injured, many expected a lull, such as there had been in the past. But the police moved swiftly and although students did eventually arrive armed with petrol bombs, they weren't as well organised as they had been last week. There was fighting, but police clearly had the upper hand. Fewer casualties were reported and the house was torn down. As for Mrs. Koizumi...farmers say they'll build her another house....at the end of the new runway, which would prevent 'planes taking off and landing.