U.S. forces insist on additional military construction apparently for new larger aircraft carrier

The government has recently come up with a plan to construct 800 housing units at Ikego in Yokohama City in addition to the 854 units constructed for U.S. forces in violation of the 1994 agreement between the state, Kanagawa Prefecture, and Zushi City.

Akahata of August 4 suggested that behind this government plan is the U.S. forces' intention to deploy a new large nuclear-powered aircraft-carrier to the U.S. Yokosuka Naval Base. The U.S. forces demand that 800 new houses be built as a trade-off for returning former U.S. military facility sites in Yokohama City.

Before the present 854 houses were built in Zushi City, the citizens in 9 elections for a city mayor and city assembly members rejected the U.S. military housing construction. With the 1994 tripartite agreement promising no more such housing, the government managed to get the 854 houses built.

If the U.S. aircraft-carrier Kitty Hawk retires in FY 2008 and is replaced by a new, larger one, the number of crew members will increase by 650. If the 800 new houses are built in the Ikego district of Yokohama City, it will pave the way for further U.S. requests for housing construction at Kamiseya Base and other former U.S. base sites.

The Japanese Communist Party demands that idle base sites as well as the U.S. military bases in Kanagawa Prefecture be unconditionally returned to Japan. (end)

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