Protest Held in Okinawa over Sexual Assaults by U.S. Servicemen

Society

Naha, Okinawa Pref., July 4 (Jiji Press)--A protest rally was held Thursday near the Okinawa prefectural government building following the revelation of a spate of sexual assaults by U.S. military personnel on women in the southernmost Japan prefecture.

Participating citizens shouted, "We will not forgive assaults by U.S. military members on women," and "Prefectural citizens are angry."

The rally, sponsored by a civic group, attracted some 600 people, according to the group. Protesters held banners and placards calling for the protection of Okinawa citizens' dignity and the closure of U.S. military bases in the prefecture.

"The entire prefectural government will work to protect prefectural citizens' safe and secure lives," said a message from Okinawa Governor Denny Tamaki.

Protesters' anger was also directed at the central government, which failed to share information with the prefectural government regarding the assaults promptly.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press