Local opposition arises against NLP relocation from Atsugi to Iwakuni

On July 17 in Iwakuni City, Yamaguchi Prefecture, members of local branches of the Japanese Communist Party and the Japan Peace Committee took to the streets and expressed their opposition to a reported plan to relocate a carrier-based aircraft unit from the U.S. Atsugi Naval Air Facility to the Iwakuni base.

Carrier Air Wing Five is stationed at the Atsugi base in Kanagawa Prefecture and its aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk is stationed at the U.S. Yokosuka Naval Base. Residents living in the vicinity of the Atsugi base have been suffering from extremely serious noise pollution. The plan reportedly includes relocation of "night landing practice" (touch-and-go exercises) from Atsugi to Iwakuni.

At the U.S. Marine Iwakuni Air Station, a new runway is under construction on a reclaimed site from the sea.

Kume Yoshinori, representative of the Yamaguchi Prefectural Peace Committee, said, "If a carrier-borne aircraft unit is moved and conducts NLP here, Iwakuni residents' quiet life will be severely disturbed." (end)

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