Faced with the redevelopment, Koenji stands up

On the afternoon of Sunday May 15, hundreds of protesters gathered in the streets of Koenji, a district west of Shinjuku, Tokyo. For about three hours, these protesters – hippies, punks, shopkeepers and wage earners – marched and danced behind flatbed trucks equipped with large speakers from which local bands and DJs played songs and repeated the slogan of the demonstration: “We don’t need gentrification”.

The third such anti-gentrification protest in Koenji since 2018 (and the first since the COVID-19 pandemic), the May 15 event was organized by a confederation of local business owners and Koenji residents. aimed at warding off the type of urban redevelopment that has, in their view, changed the local culture of the city’s neighborhoods.

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