Home > Asia > Japan detains movement leader to silence struggle against U.S. military bases | Waging Nonviolence

Japan detains movement leader to silence struggle against U.S. military bases | Waging Nonviolence

On October 17, Hiroji Yamashiro was arrested for cutting a wire fence at a protest against a U.S. military base in Okinawa. He has been held in detention ever since. Yamashiro, the chairman of the Okinawa Peace Movement Center, has been a fixture of the nonviolent opposition to military base expansion on the island for years.

Anti U.S base leader Hiroji Yamashiro being removed by police after staging a sit-in protest protest against the construction of helipads in front of the gate of U.S. military's Northern Training Area in the village of Higashi, Okinawa Prefecture, on August 19, 2016. Japanese government resume construction of total six helipads in a fragile ten million year old Yanbaru forest that is home to endemic endangered species such as the Okinawan rail and Okinawan wood pecker. (Photo by Richard Atrero de Guzman/NURPhoto) (Photo by Richard Atrero de Guzman/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Anti U.S base leader Hiroji Yamashiro being removed by police after staging a sit-in protest protest against the construction of helipads in front of the gate of U.S. military’s Northern Training Area in the village of Higashi, Okinawa Prefecture, on August 19, 2016. Japanese government resume construction of total six helipads in a fragile ten million year old Yanbaru forest that is home to endemic endangered species such as the Okinawan rail and Okinawan wood pecker. (Photo by Richard Atrero de Guzman/NURPhoto) (Photo by Richard Atrero de Guzman/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

The 64-year-old Yamashiro had undergone cancer treatment in 2015, and medical tests two months into his detention revealed a decline in his health. Nevertheless, since his arrest almost five months ago, he has been held in pre-trial detention — mostly in solitary confinement, denied bail and any contact with his family. Three days after his arrest, the authorities added additional charges of obstruction and assault. A third charge of obstruction was added a month later, for an incident that allegedly took place almost a year earlier.

The two others arrested with Yamashiro also remain in detention.

Source: Japan detains movement leader to silence struggle against U.S. military bases

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