JCP protests against U.S. Marines amphibious vehicle accidents in Okinawa

The Japanese Communist Party has protested against the U.S. Marine Corps in Okinawa for its June 9 accident involving an amphibious vehicle that sank in the sea on the coral reef off Henoko in Nago City.

Maeda Masaaki, a JCP member of the prefectural assembly, on June 10 demanded that the U.S. forces discontinue training exercises with such vehicles and close the exercise fields.

After an on-site investigation, Maeda found that oil leaked from the sunken vehicle and that it damaged the coral reef.

He visited the Okinawa offices of the Foreign Ministry and the Defense Facilities Administrative Agency as well as the Okinawa Prefectural government, and requested them to urge the U.S. forces to immediately clean up the oil leakage and remove the tank from the site.

In Okinawa on June 6, another U.S. amphibious vehicle during its transfer landed on the beach of Ginowan Village and destroyed part of an overhead bridge on an Okinawan highway, according to the June 10th issue of local newspaper Okinawa Times.

In the petition to the government, the JCP assembly member Maeda stated that Okinawan's safety cannot be ensured so long as U.S. forces now deployed to Iraq for war remain in Okinawa.

Government officials promised to convey his message to the U.S. forces so that the causes of the accidents are disclosed and preventive measures taken. - Akahata, June 11, 2005

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