July 5, 2008

Japanese Police Terrorize Citizens Over G8

The government has spent $100 million more in security than last year’s summit in Germany, and police are going around the remote island to tell residents to be on the lookout for "suspicious packages."
Several thousand anti-G8 protesters rally in Japan
Sat Jul 5, 2008 10:02am EDT
By Yoko Kubota and Edwina Gibbs
SAPPORO, Japan (Reuters) - Several thousand people rallied on Saturday on the streets of central Sapporo, Japan, to protest
against a Group of Eight summit due to start next week [my bold] at a luxury hotel a two-hour drive away.
Four Japanese men were arrested, said a police official on the northern island of Hokkaido, of which Sapporo is the capital. Two were arrested for violating the public safety ordinances and two others for interfering with police activities.

A Reuters cameraman was taken away by police but it was not immediately clear if he was among the four arrested.
The one-and-a-half hour march by Japanese and foreign activists, citizen groups and non-govern
mental organizations took place under heavy security ahead of the July 7-9 summit of the rich nations at the hot spring and lake resort of Toyako 70 km (45 miles) away
Japan has detained and questioned dozens of people [my bold] at its airports, including journalists and academics, in the run-up to the summit, although many have been allowed to enter the country after several hours.
[...] Although the protesters generally marched peacefully, scuffles broke out with police around a truck in the middle of the march that was blasting music, and the truck's window was shattered.
Japan is concerned about violent protests as well as acts of terrorism during the summit and has tightened security around the country at a cost of some 30 billion yen ($283 million), topping the 113 million euros ($186 million) spent at the last summit in Germany.

Around 21,000 police officers are being deployed in Hokkaido and
domestic media have said a similar number have been mobilized in Tokyo.
(Additional reporting by Hiroyuki Muramoto; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall

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