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U.S. forces to start training at new facility in Okinawa

In complete disregard of residents' strong opposition, the U.S. Forces in Okinawa on June 24 told the Foreign Ministry Okinawa Office that it will start anti-urban guerrilla training on June 27 at the facility recently constructed at Range 4 of Camp Hansen in Okinawa's Kin Town. The training is expected to include live shooting exercises.

Japanese Communist Party House of Representatives member Akamine Seiken said, "It is outrageous to conduct training at Range 4, which is so dangerous that no safety measure can avoid the risk of accidents there." He criticized the Japanese government for being reluctant to stop the U.S. uncontrolled use of bases.

The anti-urban guerrilla training facility is only 300m away from a residential area and near a highway. Kin Town and Okinawa Prefecture have opposed the construction of the facility, insisting that it will increase incidents involving stray bullets and other types of accidents at Range 4. Residents have been conducting a protest in front of the gate of Camp Hansen for more than a year. - Akahata, June 25, 2005

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