Use of Yokosuka as U.S. aircraft carrier's homeport must end: Kanagawa's local assemblies

Local assemblies in Kanagawa Prefecture are increasing their demand that the prefecture's Yokosuka Port cease to serve as the homeport of the U.S. Navy's Seventh Fleet.

The Yamato City Assembly on March 23 adopted a resolution, which stated: "To defend the citizens' safety and lives from noise pollution and possible aircraft crashes during nighttime touch-and-go practices (night landing practices, or NLPs), the city demands that the U.S. cancel its plan to deploy a nuclear aircraft carrier at the Yokosuka base, and the use of Yokosuka base by the U.S. aircraft carrier as its homeport be canceled."

Yamato City is one of the U.S. Atsugi Naval Air Station's host cities opposed to the U.S. Forces' touch-and-go practices at the base by fighters from the U.S. aircraft carrier which is homeported at Yokosuka.

Similar resolutions have been adopted in March by assemblies of Chigasaki City, Tsukui Town, Shiroyama Town, and Atsugi City. Day by day, local governments adopting anti-NLP and anti-home port resolutions are ranging to many regions of Kanagawa Prefecture, which has a population over 8 million.

Zama City has also adopted a similar resolution in its December 2000 assembly session.

The U.S. Forces began using the Yokosuka Naval Base as its aircraft carrier's homeport in 1973, and night landing exercises (NLP) with the carrier's aircraft have been carried out at the U.S. Atsugi Naval Air Station in disregard of the fact that the area is densely populated with about one and a half million people.

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The Miura City Assembly in Kanagawa on March 28 unanimously adopted a resolution calling for a review of the designation of a training zone for U.S. nuclear submarines in the sea off the city.

Many fishing boats, including training boats, are ported in the bay of the city, neighboring Yokosuka City. The family of a crew member of the Ehime Maru, hit and sunken off Hawaii by a U.S. nuclear sub, also lives in the city. Therefore, the city can never overlook the Ehime Maru incident, says the adopted note.

Noting that the designated area is rich in fisheries and always crowded with fishing and pleasure boats, the note says, "To ensure safety navigation, the City of Miura calls for a review of the zone designation, including its cancellation."

The Zama City Assembly on March 27 unanimously adopted a similar resolution. (end)