The small number of people who took part int eh demonstration at Tokyo's new Narita airport on Thursday (20 February) underlined the fact that opposition to the airport among local former and residents is diminishing.
SV ZOOM OUT FROM Airport sign TO deserted buildings and aprons
LV PULL BACK FROM Airport building to show construction workers in foreground
SV/CU Demonstrators chanting slogans (3 shots)
TV Police armed with shields and batons
SV Construction workers carrying on
SV & CU Police with shields charging demonstrators (2 shots)
SV Demonstrators chanting against police shields
LV PAN FROM Police pushing demonstrators away TO construction workers continuing to work
SV & LV Work continuing (2 shots)
GV PAN Deserted airport and control tower (2 shots)
GV PAN Empty runways
TRAVELLING SHOT UP Runway past deserted buildings
Initials BB/2303 NC/MR/BB/2325
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Background: The small number of people who took part int eh demonstration at Tokyo's new Narita airport on Thursday (20 February) underlined the fact that opposition to the airport among local former and residents is diminishing.
About 150 riot police in steel helmets and carrying shields had little trouble in handling off the small number of formers and student sympathisers who tried to attack workmen building a roadway.
Opposition to the airport has kept it idle for nearly two years after it was ready to receive its first commercial flight. It is costing 35,000 Sterling (85,000 dollars) a day in runway, building and loan maintenance, and in the meantime the old Tokyo airport at Haneda is literally falling apart because of overcrowding. It handles 460 international and domestic flights a day.
Opposition to Narita airport has come mainly from farmers in the area, backed by militant students. Outraged that prime farming land should be used for the airport, they combined to hinder development of the complex. They have fought pitched battles with construction workers and police and have built three heavily-defended "nuisance toward" at the end of the runways, which have effectively blocked aircraft movement.
But as conditions at Haneda worsen-and pilots are beginning vehemently to attack the condition of the cracked and crumbling runways--opposition to the new airport weakens and the officials now say it should be open for passenger flights at the end of this year--nearly three years later than planned.