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The popular Okinawan band Kina Shokichi & Champloose will stage the “Eco Peace Concert” in Tokyo today to call for steps to be taken to protect waters off of Nago, Okinawa Prefecture — identified as a potential site for an offshore military heliport — so that dugongs can continue to live there.The concert is designed to demonstrate opposition to the construction of the heliport. Dennis Banks, 62, a U.S. human rights activist and Chippewa Indian, will join Kina, 49, in the concert, to be held at Edo Tokyo Museum Hall in Sumida Ward this evening.During the concert, slides of dugongs living in the waters off Okinawa will be shown. Banks is one of the leading lights in the U.S. movement to restore the rights of American Indians.As a U.S. serviceman more than 40 years ago, he was stationed at Yokota Air Base in the suburbs of Tokyo. At that time, local farmers and residents were waging a fierce struggle against the expansion of nearby Tachikawa Air Base. Banks says images of local farmers being confronted by armed U.S. soldiers reminded him of American Indians who suffered discrimination. This led him to become a rights activist, he says.In the concert, Banks will offer a prayer and sing a song to purify the land. Kina will contribute Okinawan folk tunes and a song about an Okinawan girl raped by U.S. soldiers.

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