JCP and Ginowan mayor call for halt of U.S. force flights in Okinawa

Japanese Communist Party Dietmembers on August 18 urged the government to demand that the U.S. forces immediately suspend all flight drills over Okinawa.

In their representations to the Defense Ministry, the Foreign Ministry, and the Cabinet Office, House of Representatives member Akamine Seiken and House of Councilors member Nihi Sohei called for the operation of the U.S. Marine Corps Futenma Air Station to be stopped and the investigation of the U.S. Marine helicopter crash to be led by Japanese police.

The JCP representatives also requested that the government make efforts to revise the Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement and unconditionally close the Futenma base.

On the same day, Ginowan City Mayor Iha Yoichi made representations to several ministries calling on the government to demand that the U.S. forces halt flights and return the Futenma base site to his city.

He strongly criticized the U.S. forces for barring Okinawan police from investigating the crash site, saying, "It severely violates the sovereignty of Japan."

Iha asked for a meeting with Prime Minister Koizumi Jun'ichiro, but the request was turned down due to Koizumi's tight schedule. (end)

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