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Anti-G8 protesters are on their way to the G8 Hotel

[Gipfelsoli Infogroup | Media G8way]

Press Release July 7th 2008

  • Japan: Summit protests are relocating
  • Japanese army is supporting the police

This weekend the anti-G8 summit protests relocated from Sapporo to the vicinity of Lake Toya where the G8 summit is taking place. Around 1 000 activists are spread over the protest camps Toyoura, Soubetsu and Da-te. A number of official demonstrations have been registered against the official G8 summit. The goal is to get as close as possible to the conference hotel.

Today, hundreds of demonstrators have set off from the camps to Lake Toya. The “Ainu Mosir” peoples are supporting the Soubestsu Camp demonstrators who for the large part are Japanese. The Ainu are demanding recognition as the original inhabitants of the Hokkaido peninsula.

Japanese and international activists based at Camp Toyoura will attempt to disrupt the G8 summit with blockades and rallies. They will be accompanied by legal support groups.

26 organizations from around the world have protested against the entry denial of Korean trade unionists with an open letter. Japanese immigration authorities had rejected the entry of 23 Koreans into Japan. They had intended to demonstrate against the trade politics of the G8 as well as US meat imports.

Like during former anti-G8 protests, most recently in Heiligendamm in 2007, the police forces are supported by the military. Specifically, 4 fighter jets and AWACS reconaissance are being used, in conjunction with 12 war ships and patriot rockets.

The internal deployment of the Japanese military is hugely contested. Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution prohibits the use of land, sea and air forces. The military is not permitted to be used for conflict resolution. In order to circumvent this legislation, the Japanese “Self Defense Forces” were created. The air and sea missions at the G8 summit at Lake Toya will be carried out in a joint deployment of the SDF and the US military. The USA has a number of military bases in Japan, which has repeatedly sparked protests amongst people in Japan. Anti-militarist groups are part of this year’s summit protests.

The official justification for the deployment of the military is the defense against “terrorist air strikes”. However, the Japanese police has had to admit that there is no evidence of such threats.

“As in Heiligedamm in 2007, there are attempts to further establish the cooperation between police and military forces. Contrary to all claims it is clearly political protest that is the target of the military apparatus. We are deeply critical of the militarization of social conflict”, Hanne Jobst from the Gipfelsoli Infogroup explained.


  • Demonstrations to the G8-Hotel: http://japan.indymedia.org/noG8/timeline/?lang=en
  • Protests against the deportation of Korean trade unionists: http://japan.indymedia.org/newswire/display/4589/index.php
  • Military deployment at the G8 in Japan: http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/summit/20080706TDY01303.htm
  • Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution: http://www.article-9.org/en/index.html
  • General info: http://www.gipfelsoli.org/Home/Hokkaido_2008