Stop using Okinawa as support base for U.S.-Philippine exercises: JCP

The Japanese Communist Party Okinawa Prefectural Committee on January 24 made representations to the Okinawa Prefectural Government, demanding that it suspend cooperating with the U.S. in on-going U.S.-Philippine military exercises using U.S. military bases on Okinawa as a stronghold.

"The U.S. Forces are going to send about 600 troops to the Philippines to take part in "Balikatan 02-1," a U.S.-Philippine military exercises against Islamic extremists Abu Sayyaf. This is causing uneasiness among Okinawans as the island is being used as a foothold for U.S. interventionist wars," said Isa Shin'ichi, acting chair of the JCP committee, and Hokama Hisako, Prefectural Assembly member (JCP), in talks with prefectural government officials. They pointed out that U.S. bases on Okinawa are being used as "support Balikatan bases" for anti-terrorist wars.

Citing a U.S. Forces plan to construct anti-terrorist training facilities at the U.S. Camp Hansen site for use by U.S. Army Special Commando teams, the JCP side pointed out that it will intensify Okinawa's role as a training and sortie base.

The JCP demanded that the prefectural government urge the U.S. to stop using Okinawa to commit military interventions in Asia and the Middle East.

The prefectural government side, however, just declined to take such a position because of its pro-Japan-U.S. Security Treaty policy. (end)