(The Asahi Shimbun) “I felt that long-term detention was meant to intimidate Okinawans,” said Hiroji Yamashiro, chairman the Okinawa Peace Movement Center, in a recent interview with The Asahi Shimbun.
Yamashiro was first arrested last October on suspicion of causing damage to property by cutting barbed wire near a construction site for a U.S. military helipad in the vicinity of the Takae district of Higashi, a village in the north of the prefecture. The wire was strung around the site by the Defense Ministry’s Okinawa branch.
“I will fully testify during my trial, but I just cut a piece of wire that had hooked barbed wire on a tree branch,” he said. “I simply could not believe at that time that I would be detained for days for such a trivial matter.”