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Japanese farmer objects eviction order at Narita

Takao Shito holds a banner as he protests a court order evicting him from his land near Narita Airport. (ANJ photo)
Takao Shito holds a banner as he protests a court order evicting him from his land near Narita Airport. (ANJ photo)
A panel on Shito’s camp. Narita airport company wants to build a new runway for aircrafts. (ANJ photo)
A panel on Shito’s camp. Narita airport company wants to build a new runway for aircrafts. (ANJ photo)
A group of protesters, opposing the plan to expand Narita Airport, show their solidarity with Takao Shito. (ANJ photo)
A group of protesters, opposing the plan to expand Narita Airport, show their solidarity with Takao Shito. (ANJ photo)
An old man raises his fist in Shito’s camp to show his solidarity. (ANJ photo)
An old man raises his fist in Shito’s camp to show his solidarity. (ANJ photo)
Protesters build an observation tower on land owned by Takao Shito. The tower is on the flight path of the airport. (ANJ photo)
Protesters build an observation tower on land owned by Takao Shito. The tower is on the flight path of the airport. (ANJ photo)
Police keep an eye on the protesters as they demonstrate in support of Takao Shito, who is facing eviction from his land next to Narita Airport. (ANJ photo)
Police keep an eye on the protesters as they demonstrate in support of Takao Shito, who is facing eviction from his land next to Narita Airport. (ANJ photo)
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11 Jan 2021 09:01:52 GMT9
11 Jan 2021 09:01:52 GMT9

Arab News Japan

TOKYO: Protesters gathered at the edge of Narita International Airport in Chiba Prefecture to support Takao Shito, a farmer who is facing eviction to make way for a third runway.

Shito has been cultivating his two plots of land near Narita Airport for decades but is now facing a compulsory acquisition order.

Since it was planned in the early 1960s, the airport has faced considerable opposition from locals and radical groups opposed to the construction. The initial plan was for a five-runway airport but when it opened in 1978, it had just a single runway. A second runway was opened in 2002, but also faced protests and opposition.

Despite considerable expansion of Tokyo’s other international airport at Haneda, closer to downtown Tokyo, plans are in place to build a third runway at Narita, which is 60 km from Tokyo.

On Saturday, around a hundred demonstrators sported red, blue and white helmets, echoing the protesters of the 1960s. Many of those protests turned violent and two people lost their lives.

Four days before the airport was due to open, protesters smashed their way into the control tower and wrecked the equipment there, delaying the opening by two months. On opening day, 14,000 police were needed to control the 6,000 protesters outside the airport.

Shito has consistently refused to sell his plots of land at Narita and is fighting his case in court. A ruling is expected from the Chiba High Court in March.

At his residence on another of his plots of land, where he cultivates organic vegetables, is an eviction notice. The protesters point out that COVID-19 has severely damaged the airline industry and there is little need for an additional runway at Narita.

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