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Local Protest

December 7th, 2008

Again with the views from the balcony. A short while back, Sachi and I heard some drumming ruckus coming from outside. I checked it out, and there was some sort of group marching down the road away from us. By the time I got my camera ready, they were just turning out of sight, but with the magic of the zoom lens and many megapixels, I saw at least this much, far more than the naked eye could resolve:



From what we could read of their signs, they seem to be a group of protesters. At least some of them came from the Northern Area Labor Group–that’s the big red flag with the sunburst. The yellow banners read, “Citizens unite in protest of the Patriot Missiles.” (Japanese-language only, see the last story on this page.) It would seem that the U.S. is outfitting Japan with a series of such anti-missile missile systems in response to missile tests by North Korea. All the same, a lot of Japanese are not all that enthused about them. Many have been installed in the Tokyo area–two installations as of a year ago, and about a dozen or so in all planned over the next few years. Apparently they’re located in local military bases spotting the Tokyo plain, many in the middle of outlying cities, close to large populations.

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  1. Paul
    December 8th, 2008 at 16:51 | #1

    You know, I can understand being against militarization in general. I can even kind of understand being against the Patriot system on financial grounds; it was a failure in the first Persian Gulf War, and probably wouldn’t fare much better now (even though it’s been improved since then).

    But if someone is okay with any type of national defense, then the Patriot system makes a LOT of sense for Japan. It’s strictly a defensive weapon, and it’s not like it’s going to tempt the North Koreans or Chinese (who a lot of anti-missile systems are REALLY being set up against) into now adding Japan to their list.

    Believe me, Japan was on their list prior to this.

    So these protestors aren’t making a lot of sense to me… but then again, I’m not there. 😉

  2. Leszek Cyfer
    December 8th, 2008 at 21:18 | #2

    For some people anything with a word ‘War’ in it, is wrong…

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