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U.S. forces carry out anti-urban guerrilla drill at U.S. Camp Hansen

Deliberately ignoring opposition expressed by residents and the prefectural government, the U.S. forces in Okinawa on the early morning of July 12 began urban warfare training at the U.S. Camp Hansen Range 4 complex which is adjacent to the Igei district of Kin Town.

A red flag was hoisted at 8:00 a.m., and white smoke appeared after shots were fired. The U.S. Forces Okinawa Area Field Office recognized that they had begun the training.

On the watchtower near the training range were Gibu Takeshi, Kin Town mayor, Ikehara Masafumi, Igei district association chair, and other townspeople who were anxious about stray bullets.

Ikehara said, "By starting the training, they are contemptuous of us. Does the Japanese government that gave the U.S. forces permission to conduct the training give preference to U.S. military exercises over other people's property and lives?"

The Range is only about 300 meters from civilian residences, and 200 meters from a highway. Stray bullets and mountain fires caused by military exercises are not rare in the Igei district.

Japanese Communist Party House of Representatives member Akamine Seiken published a statement saying, "They started the training amidst Okinawans' protests of the July 3 assault incident against a young girl by a U.S. soldier. The JCP denounces the U.S. forces for commencing the training as well as the Japanese government for its subservient attitude to the U.S." -- Akahata, July 13, 2005

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