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News, March 2008


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Editorial Note: The following news reports are summaries from original sources. They may also include corrections of Arabic names and political terminology. Comments are in parentheses.


Okinawan people hold anti-US rally 2008-03-24 00:04:09  

    TOKYO, March 23 (Xinhua) --

About 6,000 people held an anti-U.S. rally on Sunday in southern Japan's Okinawa Prefecture, calling for revising a basic Japan-U.S. security law and reducing the U.S. military presence on the island.

    The rally, organized by local women's groups and labor unions in the town of Chatan, was in protest against a series of crimes involving U.S. servicemen since mid February, when a U.S. Marine allegedly raped a local minor girl.

    Okinawa has been lodging protests against the governments of Japan and the United States as crimes and accidents have been repeated due to the presence of the military bases here, but the voices have been trampled upon and heinous incidents have continued, Okinawa city Mayor Mitsuko Tomon said while addressing the rally.

    A resolution passed by the rally said the U.S. army failed to fulfill its promise of strengthening discipline and preventing recurrence of crimes, and pertaining problems could never be resolved only by "improved implementation" of the Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement.

    The resolution called for a radical revision of the current agreement, which put the U.S. army in judicial advantage, and demanded further curtailment of U.S. military bases and reduction of Japan-based U.S. servicemen.

    The rape case in mid February and a series of crimes committed by U.S. soldiers enraged local Okinawan people and aroused a new wave of anti-U.S. military presence sentiment throughout Japan.

Editor: Yan Liang

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