White-clad group blocks Gifu road

Kyodo (Japan), Apr. 30, 2003

GIFU (Kyodo) A group of around 40 people to stop blocking a mountain road straddled by the towns of Hachiman and Yamato in Gifu Prefecture, local officials said.

The group, which calls itself the Panawave Kenkyusho (research institute), drove into the area Friday from Fukui Prefecture in a convoy of about a dozen vehicles, mostly station wagons and camping trailers that are also draped in white cloth, officials said.

A male member told town officials the group is “moving from place to place to avoid harmful electromagnetic waves.”

Officials of the two towns and local residents and landowners visited the site Tuesday and asked the group to leave after members ignored a similar written request handed to them the day before.

Later Tuesday, police officials said members of the group told them they would leave by Saturday.

The caravan occupies 200-meter stretch of road. Members have stopped passing cars and asked drivers to identify themselves, prompting complaints to police.

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