Japan dismantles decades-old relics of radical protests at airport

Featured Japan - November 29th, 2012

Authorities on Wednesday dismantled two huts on land where Narita Airport now stands, relics of bloody protests against Japan’s rapid modernization.

“We will start the court enforcement of vacation of land,” an official from Chiba District Court announced at the site, following the green light from Tokyo High Court, AFP reports.

Wednesday’s demolition was a stark contrast to radical protests more than four decades ago with no reports of injuries or major trouble at the scene even as protesters tried to stop work crews, according to police.

The huts were built at the height of Japanese radicalism in an attempt to halt the construction of the international airport, where leftist students, activists and farmers clashed with police in bloody protests over land grabbing. Some of the huts remained, forcing the airport to build around them and leaving one of the taxiways bent, Kyodo News reports.

Nearly 30 million people use Narita airport annually and it has faced pressure from airlines to expand.