Liaison association against relocation of U.S. Army 1st Corps Command formed

Citizens of Sagamihara and Zama in Kanagawa Prefecture near Tokyo on February 20 formed a "liaison association against relocation of the U.S. 1st Army Corps Command to Camp Zama."

The inaugural meeting, attended by about 110 citizens, adopted an appeal stating, "Stop Japan-U.S. negotiation on the relocation and strengthening of Camp Zama and return the base to Japan immediately!"

Yui Akio, Sagamihara City Assembly chair, sent the meeting a message saying, "The relocation plan, contrary to citizens' wishes for an early return of the base, is feared to lead to the strengthening of and perpetuation of Camp Zama. I strongly hope that your campaign will spread."

Japanese Communist Party member of the House of Representatives Akamine Seiken delivered a speech. He spoke about the history of U.S. bases in Okinawa and residents' struggles, including the one against construction of a new base in the sea off the Henoko district of Nago City. He finally called on the participants, "Let's promote a massive struggle in solidarity between residents of Kanagawa and Okinawa!"

Teruyama Sachiko, 60, former female teacher from Sagamihara, said, "My school faces Camp Zama just across the street. We will be very disturbed if the command moves in. I will do whatever I can to work against the plan in solidarity with Okinawa residents." (end)

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