Kanagawa requests government to listen to local opinions on U.S. base realignment plan

The Kanagawa Prefectural Assembly on March 23 unanimously adopted a statement calling on the Japanese government to respect the concerns local residents and administrations have about plans to strengthen the functions of U.S. military bases located in the prefecture.

Referring to the planned relocation of the U.S. 1st Army Corps Command to U.S. Camp Zama located in Zama and Sagamihara cities, the statement said, "Kanagawa and local residents firmly believe it is impossible to accept such a plan."

The prefectural assembly also stressed that it has not received any information from the government regarding the reported plan to deploy a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier to the U.S. Navy Yokosuka Base in Yokosuka City.

Last July, a helicopter from the U.S. aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk based at the U.S. Yokosuka base dropped bullets on the streets of Izumi Ward in Yokohama City. The statement criticized the Japanese and U.S. governments for failing to conduct a full-scale investigation and providing local administration with appropriate information.

Japanese Communist Party Kanagawa Prefectural Assembly member Kawano Koji said, "It is significant that all parties in the assembly, despite differences regarding U.S. bases and the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty, have banded together to urge the government to listen to local residents. This shows how strong public opposition to the plan to realign U.S. forces in Japan is. JCP assembly members will continue to strive to prevent U.S. bases from being strengthened." (end)

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