The U.S. State Department, the federal body tasked with promoting human rights overseas, is refusing to censure Tokyo over its aggressive tactics to force construction of new helipads for the U.S. Marine Corps in northern Okinawa.
Since July, the Japanese government has been conducting a massive police campaign in the Takae district of Higashi village that has left at least five demonstrators hospitalized, infringed upon press freedoms and been condemned by Gov. Takeshi Onaga, media unions and local residents.
Asked for comment on the injuries and blocking of reporters, the State Department referred The Japan Times to the Japanese government and U.S. Department of Defense. Anna Richey-Allen, spokesperson for the department's East Asia and Pacific Bureau spokesperson, then issued a stock statement unrelated to the inquiries.